The Right People for the Right Roles – September 2019
Our team of four CFK dimdims (white persons!) have safely returned from another challenging but successful trip to Kiriwina. While the main focus of the visit was to provide training support for the Village Birth Attendants (VBAs), we also gained first hand feedback on the results of some of our other aid programs. Such feedback is vital for CFK to ensure outcomes are being achieved, and learn how these programs can be improved to ensure ongoing CFK work continues to be as effective as possible.
Following on from our theme for this newsletter, the right people in the right roles, we are extremely grateful to our two exceptional midwife educators Shea Caplice and Jacqui Andrews for volunteering their services yet again for their third trip to Kiriwina in three years.
This visit in September 2019 to provide educational support for the VBAs on Kiriwina provided an initial session over several days of more intense and focussed teaching with a small group of 24 VBAs on primary health care. This was followed by a larger group of around 200 VBA participants in the second half of the week. Issues covered included family planning and assisting with normal births, what to do when a baby is not breathing or when the mother bleeds excessively after birth. The support sessions also provided an opportunity for the VBAs to practice skills that they learned and be assessed on those skills in a supportive environment. Specific objectives included:
- VBAs will be able to demonstrate the correct clean and safe way to assist at the birth of a baby using the birth kit.
- VBA will demonstrate the correct way to rub the fundus and apply external bimanual compression to stop bleeding after delivery.
- VBA will demonstrate essential newborn care and simple resuscitation puffing air into the lungs via the nose/mouth.
- VBAs will show how they will provide some education younger VBAs including why family planning is important, healthy eating during pregnancy, danger signs, visiting the Health Centre for check-ups and planning for birth.
We also discussed hygiene of self, home, family and village, showed videos on the spread of disease, and outlined the seven cleans needed for assisting at birth. Our educational support sessions get better each time and the most positive thing is the VBAs coming together and wanting to learn.
Thanks to Midwives educator extrodinaire Shea Caplice and Jacqui Andrews.
Our CFK programs have been expanded this year as a direct consequence of funding provided through the Australian DFAT Friendship Grant, for which the Kiriwinan people acknowledge and say thank you Australia! CFK also acknowledges our on-going support base of volunteers including the students at St Vincent’s College, Sydney, UNSW Faculty of Health and Yarralumla Uniting Church. We are grateful also to our on-island supporters for the success of this recent trip, in particular the Oyabia United Church for providing logistical support and the use of the church hall to conduct our training support for the 200+ attendees. Kamatokisi kwaiveka, as they say.