By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
According to Australian Doctors International, Papua New Guinea’s maternal mortality ratio is worse than that of India, with almost half of all women giving birth without the assistance of a doctor or a midwife.
An average of 1,500 women and girls die each year from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Most women give birth in aid posts or villages without regular power supply.
In a bid to address this, Origin Energy Limited has come up with the Smart Energy Package, an initiative to provide lighting for communities.
Origin Energy’s Smart Energy Package is an innovation that is aimed at lighting up communities that do not have constant power supplies or just don’t have any at all.
Lesieli Taviri, Origin Energy’s general manager, says for every purchase of the smart energy package, two kina will be donated to Safe Motherhood Alliance, an organisation working to advocating the rights of women for safe and healthy living.
Champion of this movement and founder is former parliamentarian Dame Carol Kidu. She says the product is practical and suitable for the rural communities that don’t have any electricity supply.
Catherine Fokes, the program development manager for Safe Motherhood Alliance PNG also felt the same way. The commitment was sealed when all parties signed an Memorandum of Understanding.
The Smart Energy Package is currently being launched in the Central Province with a pilot of 1,000 packages. Origin Energy aims to sell 6,000 packages by the end of March 2015.