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Training Midwives in PNG Will Save Womens Lives

 “Our greatest chance of reversing the number of maternal deaths in PNG is to encourage women to give birth in the presence of a trained midwife.”
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable Julie Bishop MP

FMAUS - cutting ribbon
FMAUS with PAU Midwife

On 8 May 2014, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Julie Bishop MP, opened a new midwifery training facility at the Pacific Adventist University in Port Moresby, supported by Australia, to boost the number and quality of midwives in Papua New Guinea.

The K7.5 million (A$2.8 million) upgrade to the Midwifery School will help train 500 additional midwives for PNG by 2015.

The new facilities include new classrooms, computer laboratories and student and staff accommodation.

“In partnership with this private university and the PNG Government, we are increasing the number of skilled supervised births and the use of family planning – two proven methods to save mothers’ and babies’ lives,” the Australian Foreign Minister said at the opening ceremony.

Up to 500 women and men are receiving Australian scholarships from 2011 to 2015 to study midwifery in PNG. Nineteen are currently studying at the Pacific Adventist University.

Throughout PNG, Australia is refurbishing four midwifery schools and building a fifth school to expand capacity to train midwives in quality conditions. Through the Health and HIV Implementation Services Provider, Australia also supports midwifery facilitators from the University of Technology-Sydney (UTS) who work with teachers and students at the schools to improve teaching quality and produce confident and skilled graduates.

Up to 1,500 Papua New Guinean women are estimated to die during childbirth every year.