Papua New Guinea
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LACK OF MATERNITY FACILITIES

By Tamara Pia Agavi

With a maternal mortality ratio of 215 per 100,000 live births, an estimated 580 mothers die each year. The life-time risk of maternal death is eight times higher in PNG than in the East Asia and Pacific region average, according to a research report on Health, by UNICEF.

Currently mothers in the country are giving birth in their homes, or on the floors of clinics and hospitals due to the lack of beds and maternity facilities availability.

Dr Paki Molumi , CEO of Port Moresby  General Hospital said that, the reason many women come to the general hospital to deliver is because of lack of maternity facilities in their suburban clinics in the nation’s capital .

Dr Molumi also said that there are currently only 24 labour ward beds to cater for mothers who are delivering at the hospital and with over 60 births daily , many of the pregnant mothers give birth on the floors of the hospital.

France State Minister for State Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Chrysoula  Zacharopoulou when handing over the cheque worth of K150,000 to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Papua New Guinea , representative Professor Glen Mola on Friday reiterated on the need for maternal care for women and children in the country.

Minister Zacharopoulou said she had made a commitment to the department last November to help with funding and came on Saturday to deliver on that promise.

She also mentioned that the Government of France has made other commitments to the PNG government in Forest protection and climate change however, reiterated that maternal health is also a priority.

“Papua New Guinea is lacking in the reproductive health service sphere and needs more recognition and funding of facilities,” she said.