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
First you must be willing to learn from the local community.
Over the first six months you are asked not to change anything or suggest a change to operations. During that six months you will take the time to learn language and cultural mores from a local counterpart willing to mentor you. You will also start a register of the strengths of the current personnel and the assets in the community/country that might be used to achieve the goals of the assignment.
You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from your own cultural lens to outline what is missing. So, you need to ask questions to enable you to learn from your hosts, rather than in ignorance make suggestions about how things can improve. Palms training will prepare you for this approach.
In the second six months you will be ready and better know which of your skills and what of your knowledge applies to:
- training and supporting Village Birth Attendants to foster healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries – managing ante natal care, deliveries and post-partum care.
- training and supporting 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.
Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan. It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.