VBA training program -Ongoing

0 of 20,000 AUD

Caring for Kiriwina has run x 3 extremely successful Village Birth Attendant (VBA) Training Programs in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The pandemic has put the next trip on hold until the country borders are reopened. However, we are still planning and fundraising for our next trip. As soon as the borders open we will be back. Please donate!!!

1. Maternal and Infant Health

In rural PNG the mortality rate in childbirth is 1:7, with a maternal mortality rate of 1 in every 120 live births. The need for aid here is great. From the first 100 Birthing Kits that were distributed we saw a significant reduction in both maternal deaths and infant deaths. Currently for the approx. 55,000 Kiriwinans on the Island there is NO Doctor and the two trained Midwives have recently retired.

Caring for Kiriwina distributes birthing Kits across the Island and to surrounding remote Islands. We also distribute torches, warm clothing and aspirators.

  • Each Birthing Kit  includes a Birth Certificate form, as birth records are not officially kept by the PNG Government.
  • The Village Birth Attendants (VBAs), who make use of the Birthing Kits, require training in the use of the Kits and we are additionally fundraising to organise trainers from Australia to provide free training for these volunteers, once we all become COVID safe.
  •  We are raising funds to allow two Kiriwinan women chosen by the VBA and Kiriwinan community to embark on an intensive three year Midwife training course at the POM SDA University. We need to raise approx. 65K in funding for the full three year course including accommodation and food. A very big commitment by all involved. We are researching shorter and more cost effective ways to allow a selection of VBA’s to continue to train.

Birth Statistics

  • The burden of the majority of maternal deaths taking place in PNG falls in the poorest and remote locations such as Kiriwina. Lack of access to and low uptake of skilled attendance during childbirth is a major factor associated with maternal deaths (WHO, 2005 Make Every Mother and Child Count, World Health Report, WHO. Geneva.)
  • When outlining the statistics it is worth clarifying that the maternal and perinatal mortality rates have varied widely over the past three decades and there is little vital registration of births and deaths in PNG and probably even less so on the in the Milne Bay Province and the island of Kiriwina. In short the maternal death rates are likely to be under reported in this area. (ref Mola,G and Kirby,B.2013. Discrepencies between national mortality data and international estimates: the experience of Papua New Guinea. Reproductive Health Matters. Elsevier.)
  • In preparation for the journey to Kiriwina Shea and Jacqui identified through their research that women’s groups can dramatically reduce the number of maternal and newborn deaths in some of the world’s poorest communities. Shea and Jacqui utilised this information in the training by incorporating role playing and encouraging discussion of the local issues. Shea’s work with the Aboriginal community throughout Australia gave a strong platform for the aim of the education in Kiriwina with the main aim to give women information, confidence in decision making and encouraging support from families and the community.
  • We developed culturally specific resource material printed in the Kiriwinan language as lanyards for the participants including Tips for Healthy Pregnancy;  Tips For Healthy Birth; Warning Signs in Pregnancy; Warning Signs in Labour and Birth; Warning Signs After Birth and Warning Signs for Baby.
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Caring for Kiriwina Village Birth Attendant Training in October 2018: Intrepid CFK midwives; Jacqui Andrews and Shea Caplice in action with Midwife Bokowau translating.

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At Losuia Health Centre Office in October pictured from left: Health Officer Ridley Mwaisiga, CFK Midwife Jacqui Andrews, Front: Midwife Bokawa, behind Raymond. CFK Midwife Shea Caplice, Losuia Health Centre Nurse Meisy Mwaisiga and Jodi Lawton.

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The Village Birth Attendant Training Project is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by Caring for Kiriwina.

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Thanks again to all our donors for your ongoing support!

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