by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Wabag
Seven selected rural hospitals in the Enga Province have taken part in a first of its kind program to test portable scanning devices.
Catholic Health Center is one of the facilities in Kompiam that has received the scanning device to use on pregnant mothers and aims to reduce the amount of deaths happening during birth complications.
Catholic run Yampu Health center is one health facility in Kompiam which acts as a rural hospital for over 20,000 people.
The health center is the first point of contact for pregnant mothers around Kompiam and other neighboring areas who often deliver their babies there.
Catholic Health Services Nurinsing Officer, Sr. Jadwiga Faliszer, says around 95 per cent of mothers attending the antenatal clinic deliver, while the more serous cases are transferred to Wabag Hospital.
The new scanning device is the size of a mobile phone and was provided by General Electric for a two-year pilot program.
The device gives accurate images of the growth, development and the position of the baby in a mother’s womb.
That information is vital for health professionals to monitor the development of the child and the mother during delivery.
Statistics show that Papua New Guinea has the highest rates of infant maternal mortality in the region, with around 733 mothers dieing in 100,000 live births per year.
Two US doctors, Dr. Mark and Nancy Hauswald, were brought in by tribal foundation to help medical officers understand the product.
Sapos District Hospital Physician, Dr. Solomon Kalit, says the Enga Provincial Health Authority is supporting the rural based programs.
“You have atenatal mothers coming in for scans, you have people with tumors and bone fractures, so this devices can be used for many types of scanning, the challenge now is training and workshops to help rural health facilities to use the device,” said Dr.Kalit.
Doctors from Wabag Hospital and Sopas District Hospital will also use the device and they will be visiting rural Health centers to assist in the project.
Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas, has pledged support toward the pilot program.