Midwife’s crusade to save the babies of PNG

A starving six-week-old baby.
A starving six-week-old baby.

‘Women have told me of friends, relatives who have died from preventable causes because of lack of services and lack of knowledge.

‘I have cuddled babies of women who died giving birth. A local midwife friend has told me of a time when a woman tried to have a backyard abortion and died in the process.’

These are some of the sad stories from Papua New Guinea that Bull Creek resident Sara David remembers too well.

Four women die from childbirth or pregnancy-related complications in PNG every day.

In 2012, Ms David was invited to the remote village of Yamen in East Sepik Province, PNG, to provide education and training to village birth attendants (VBA).

More than 88 women from 22 villages attended the training sessions, where they shared stories and discussed needs.

‘As they shared their stories of the deaths of women and babies, I was able to identify some key topics to address: family planning, normal pregnancy, normal birth, clean birth, danger signs’