by Louisah Frank – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The decrease in the number of Australian Scholarships for midwifery in Papua New Guinea has raised concerns among the country’s midwives.
The PNG Midwifery Society said women and children are dying because of unsupervised births, and the government must ensure that there are avenues available to efficiently train more midwives.
Currently, there are five tertiary institutions in the country that offer a Bachelor in Midwifery.
According to Divine Word’s St. Mary’s Vunapope School of Nursing, AusAID would possibly be sponsoring only ten students next year instead of the usual full batch.
During the recent Midwifery Symposium, nurses have taken up a petition to show their disappointment.
Mary Magabe, who is leading the petition, stressed that there is still a need for more midwives in PNG and that decreasing the number of scholarships is not a good move.
The PNG Midwifery Society hopes that the government will help assist in restoring the scholarships or find mediums to train more midwives.
Representing the Minister at the symposium, Dr. Sibauk Bieb assured the nurses that the National Department of Health would include midwifery scholarships under the department’s Human Resource Enhancement Plan.
The Midwifery Society expects to get more than 50 signatories for the petition, and hopes that it is enough to convince authorities.