ED nurse delivers safer birthing in Papua New Guinea

Jodie demonstrating hand washing techniques on International Hand Hygiene Day.

Jodie demonstrating hand washing techniques on International Hand Hygiene Day.

Clinical Nurse at St John of God Murdoch Hospital Jodie Thompson recently visited Papua New Guinea (PNG) to help build a regional birthing suite and provide labour and delivery training to local community health workers.

Jodie’s visit to PNG was coordinated through the St John of God Social Outreach International Health team, which works to build health care capacity in developing Asia-Pacific countries.

Based in PNG’s remote Walamu region, Jodie spent two weeks teaching the St John of God Brothers who manage the local health clinic the knowledge and skills required to deliver babies safely.

She was also responsible for helping complete construction of a dedicated birthing suite in the Walamu village to provide a safe delivery environment for local women.

“PNG has very high rates of neonatal and maternal mortality, largely due to a lack of skilled attendants during birth,” Jodie said.

“The majority of deliveries in PNG occur at home or in the village and there are limited resources, including a shortage of fully equipped health facilities.

“The completion of this training program and the construction of a dedicated delivery room means there is now a safer option available for women in the Walamu community.”

Jodie said this was her third secondment to Walamu through St John of God’s International Health program and was another extremely rewarding experience.

“Travelling to PNG helps me rediscover the joy of nursing. Being given the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives is an absolute privilege,” Jodie said.

The St John of God Social Outreach International Health program in PNG will continue to identify health care needs and plan future support for the Walamu community in 2015.

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