by Delly Waigeno – EM TV, Port Moresby
Women in West Sepik Province have been urged to go to health facilities to deliver their babies and reduce the high death rate of mothers and babies in the province.
The call was made by Dr. Angela Seginame, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the Vanimo Hospital.
Dr. Seginame made the comments at the recent launch of the Baby Bundle of Joy Initiative in the West Sepik Province, which has one of the highest maternal mortality and child mortality rates in the country
Low family planning rates, antenatal coverage rates and unsupervised childbirths are some of the contributing factors.
Dr. Seginame says the poor health indicators are due to gender inequality, poverty, and low literacy rates among women.
“We have the lowest antenatal coverage which is 17 per cent. The national coverage is 34 per cent which is still lower than the average. We have the lowest family planning coverage which is seven per cent; the national coverage is 24 per cent. We have the lowest supervised delivery rate which is 17 per cent. That’s the reason we are launching the Baby Bundle of Joy initiative to attract women to delivery in the health facilities,” she said.
The Baby Bundle of Joy Initiative was a concept introduced by the West Sepik Provincial Health Authority.
The Baby Bundle of Joy is a basic gift pack given to mothers after they deliver at a health facility and contains a nappy set, body care products for both baby and mum.
Board Chairman, Gerald Gubon, says one of the immediate priorities of the board is to improve the health indicators in the province.
We have a very poor health indicators compared to the rest of the country.