The Umi Aid Post Committee has requested the placement of a Midwife to provide training and mentoring of Village Birth Attendants and Community Health Worker in the rural community of Umi. This project will improve health outcomes for the Umi community, particularly mothers and babies, through the operation of the newly completed Umi Aid Post. This aid post services a population of over 4,500 who have no other ready access to health care services. Currently pregnant woman receive little if any ante natal care and, while all expectant mothers are encouraged by health authorities to have supervised deliveries, the nearest facility [Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital] is many hours walking away. To access the hospital, pregnant women need to walk for long hours to reach the main road in order to catch a bus [Public Motor Vehicle], with travel time slowed by poor road conditions and frequent stops for passengers. Women in labour have lost their lives, and their babies’ lives, walking to the main road, waiting for a bus or on route to the hospital too late for life saving assistance.
Pregnant women, babies and infants will be the primary beneficiaries of this project. There will also be substantial benefits to all members of the community through the training and support of aid post workers in the provision of high quality, readily accessible general health care services, including health education.
The Umi Aid Post is approximately a 60 minute drive from Mount Hagen [Provincial Capital] in the Western Highland Province of Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is home to approximately 6.7 million people with approximately 87 per cent living in rural communities.
- Five influential studies conducted in PNG rural communities, over a 30 year period suggest a strong spatial component to disadvantage and show relatively little change in the poorest areas over time.
- Isolation, lack of income earning opportunities and geography appear to be important factors in community disadvantage
- At an individual level, poor education attainment and malnutrition are prevalent
The Umi Aid Post Committee has requested a suitably qualified and experienced Midwife. The successful candidate must demonstrate:
- Qualifications in midwifery and nursing
- Experience in working with women and children
- Some knowledge or experience in developing countries and cultural considerations in PNG is desirable
- Willingness to work in PNG for a minimum of 12 months, preferably two years
- Willingness to learn local language Tok Pisin
- Willingness to engage your Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role
How You Will Help
The Palms participant will train and support Village Birth Attendants to foster healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries – managing ante natal care, deliveries and post-partum care. The Palms participant will also train and support aid post workers (including Village Health Volunteers) to deliver general health services – assessment, diagnosis and treatment as well as facilitating referrals to the Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital – and educate the community on healthy lifestyles, including child spacing. An important part of the role of the volunteer will be to support those already trained in training of other community members as Village Birth Attendants and aid post workers.
To find out more or to apply, please contact Christine O’Halloran, Program & Placement Coordinator on 02 9560 5333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.