UNICEF – Papua New Guinea

Maternal and new born health in PNG

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is Australia’s closest neighbour, with less than four kilometres separating the two countries, however, the health situation for mothers and children could scarcely be more different. In PNG, both maternal and child health outcomes are among the worst in the world.

With little access to ambulances or health care centres with trained staff and equipment to respond to emergencies, PNG remains one of the deadliest places in the world for pregnant women to give birth.

Each year, 10,000 children under the age of five die (45 children per 1,000 live births), including more than 5,000 neonatal deaths.

Currently, just over half of pregnant women in PNG give birth to their children in a hospital or health facility and the rates of women dying in childbirth are incredibly high, with 340 maternal deaths yearly.

Twice the Doctor Foundation is supporting UNICEF’s work with PNG’s National Department of Health and provincial authorities to transform maternal, newborn and child health in two of PNG’s most disadvantaged districts.

Your Impact

By supporting this project, you will be helping UNICEF to:

  • Scale up the existing Village Health Volunteers program, which trains volunteers to link communities to health services and supplies.
  • Build capacity of local health care workers in early essential newborn care and basic emergency obstetric and newborn care, including training of more than 120 workers.
  • Work to ensure health facilities have access to water sources, as well as solar power to maintain vaccine cold-chains and provide light to ensure women don’t have to give birth under the light of a head torch.
  • Support health facility renovations to ensure they meet minimum standards for the delivery of quality primary health care.
  • Procure essential medication and equipment for health facilities, as well as vaccines for routine and supplementary immunisation activities.
  • Provide technical advice to the Government of PNG to improve maternal, newborn and child health policies and practices across the country.

A Note from Tony Stuart, CEO, UNICEF Australia

“Twice the Doctor Foundation is working with UNICEF to give Australian doctors like you the chance to double your impact as health workers. By donating a single day’s salary, you can help to transform the maternal health system in PNG”