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Fourteen Birthing Simulators were distributed to 7 nursing schools around PNG by the United Nations Population Fund Country Office and Laerdal Global Health (Norway) recently.   

Used in healthcare simulation, a birthing Simulator is an automated high-tech lifelike patient manikin that mimics a woman going through labor and delivery. 

The simulators given resemble something of a forward facing backpack that contains material placenta with an umbilical cord and a dummy baby. The inside also features a bladder containing fluid that can be released by the instructors to feign post-partum bleeding.   

Midwifery coordinator, Francesca Bevi of St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Kokopo, one of the schools that received the simulators, expressed gratefulness for the donations, saying the simulators help her 17 students build not only their competence but also their confidence,  

She elaborated that the mannequins allow students a hands-on practice before they enter clinical practice, adding that such practice is essential for women to receive the best quality of care.  

The seven health care training areas for nurses that had received two simulators each, of which they fondly named Mama Nathalie and Mama Birthie, were the Highlands School of Nursing, St.Mary’s School of Nursing, Pacific Adventist University (PAU), Port Moresby General Hospital, University of Goroka, Lae School of Nursing, and the Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea faces an urgent shortage of midwives. Midwifery Coordinator Bevi expressed the need for more midwives in the country.

“PNG needs to train more midwives to upscale the midwifery workforce in both the rural and urban setting,” she said.  

“Many rural health facilities do not have a midwife and the graduate output of midwives is less than a hundred.” Bevi added.

This year, UNFPA has supported 10 students at the University of Goroka with scholarships to study midwifery and continues to work in partnership with the National Department of Health and the Midwifery Society to invest in addressing this shortage.

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