Misima: Hospital in the Dark

The Misima district Hospital in the Milne Bay Province has reported that 36 babies die every year at the hospital.

The cause of death is driven by an unreliable power source on the island, making it impossible for midwives to deliver babies at night.


The Misima District Hospital might seem OK on the outside, but on the inside it has a backlog of problems to deal with.


The labor ward was empty when we visited it, but the midwife, Helen Taukuru says they get more than 5 pregnant women every week.


But the problem the hospital is facing is with unreliable power source on the Island.


The management of the hospital have admitted that the hospital is also understaffed and has inadequate medical equipment to carry out emergency medical procedures.


On many occasions, Sister Helen Taukuru says they had to deliver pregnant women under touch lights that were bought from trade stores.


Three babies die at hospital every month. That might not seemed as a big number of babies dying, but at the end of each year, the hospital records an average of 36 deaths.


Now that’s roughly the number of babies that were born alive at Angau Hospital in Lae or the Port Moresby General Hospital. 


The hospital is also having problems with its staff. The acting District Health Officer, John Metuselo, says they have been having difficulty recruiting new nursing staff to the hospital.


The Loauside rural Local Level Government (LLG) admitted that there is little to no provincial government input in this part of the province.


A combination of the distance between Misima and the provincial capital, Alotau makes it difficult for the people to receive adequate services.


The people are calling on local MP, Gordon Wesley to go to the Island and have a look at their problem.

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