Emergency Obstetrics and Neonatal Care training in Papua New Guinea

Australian Doctors International

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

ADI runs Emergency Obstetrics and Neonatal Care training workshops with health workers in rural areas of Western Province, New Ireland and West New Britain.
• In Papua New Guinea, maternal mortality ratio is unacceptably high, at 215 to 900 per 100,000 live births (in Australian it is only 20 per 100,000)
• Only 56.5% of births are attended by a skilled birth attendant
• There is a low health workforce density of 1.36 health workers per 1000 population (WHO recommends a minimum of 4.45 health workers per 1000 population) – this figure is even lower in rural areas where ADI predominantly works.
• There is a lack of continuing professional education of health workers, and an ageing health workforce.
Our aim:
• To improve and upskill the maternal and neonatal skills of rural health workers
• Educate health staff in obstetric and neonatal care skills
• Teach trainees how to respond to and deliver respectful maternity care, post-partum haemorrhage, manual removal of the placenta, puerperal sepsis, neonatal sepsis, early essential newborn care, neonatal resuscitation, and kangaroo mother care
• Train more health workers with the skills needed to be able to save more lives and positively impact on national maternal and neonatal mortality rates.

Expected Outcomes

•For more health workers to have the confidence, knowledge and skills to safely manage births and positively impact on national maternal and neonatal mortality rates.
•Improved standards of respectful maternity care (RCM), improving the treatment of women and increasing their probability of seeking health services in the future
•Challenge the cultural tendency to accept that maternal deaths are a natural part of childbirth
•Creating advocates of respectful maternal care who are able to share their skills and knowledge with other local health workers

Project Data & Lessons

To date, ADI has trained 115 health workers in emergency obstetrics and neonatal care and an additional 13 in-country facilitators. All EMONC training participants complete pre- and post-training surveys which are used to inform and improve our program. Surveys compare knowledge demonstration of the topics and confidence in applying EMONC skills before and after the training. Qualitative data from trainees are also gathered. Previous testimonies have shown that they have been able to better support women during childbirth and prevent loss of life.
Case Study – August 2020 training
In August 2020 ADI delivered an EMONC three-day in-service training via webinar supported by local trainers to 30 health workers in PNG (15 in Western Province; 15 in West New Britain).
•53% stated that they had not attended any prior training dedicated to emergency obstetrics, or had not attended any training in over ten years.
•The number of births that participants managed at their health facilities varied between 5 and 80 per month. Collectively, by training and improving the emergency obstetric skills of these health workers, the training positively impacted on approximately 3,000 PNG remote births a year.
•Confidence levels in conducting neonatal resuscitation increased from 43% pre-training to 79% post
•Knowledge on respectful maternity care increased from 37% pre-training to 96% post-training

Project Dates

This project is ongoing

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Other Funding Sources
Other Support Opportunities
Pro bono services

Organisation Details

Australian Doctors International
ABN: 15718578292


Kay Nevill
Phone: +61(0)299078988

About Australian Doctors International

Australian Doctors International (ADI) is a not-for-profit charity delivering and strengthening primary health services to remote communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG). ADI has been working in Papua New Guinea for twenty years, primarily mobilising integrated health patrol teams and deploying volunteer doctors to deliver health services and health information to people living in rural parts of New Ireland, Western Province and West New Britain. ADI demonstrates its commitment to upholding the universal right to health care by working with local partners to strengthen health services, improve well-being and attain equal access to health for all. Our mission – a healthier PNG. Over the last few years, ADI has also developed programs focusing on the well-being and safety of women. Training for health workers in reproductive rights, family planning and emergency obstetrics has been critical to improve the lives of rural women and families in PNG. Training for community leaders in gender equity and reducing family violence is also essential in order to improve the quality of life of rural women in PNG. Funding for this program is needed from July 2021. ADI operates with a small support team in Sydney as well as local staff employed in each PNG province we work in, who coordinate the initiatives on the ground. We are governed by a board, and accredited with the Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program.

Related Projects

Room to Read Australia Limited

Distance learning for vulnerable girls

We are currently facing the greatest educational crisis in recent history. Women and girls have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many girls are still at risk of never returning to school. As the pandemic spreads, families who...
Plan International Australia

Removing barriers to girls’ education

Plan International Australia’s Girls Education & Empowerment Fund is a multi-year giving initiative that super-charges your support to tackle the barriers that stop girls from receiving an education. It works by pooling your contributions with other donors to leverage it for more funding from Plan International’s institutional partners – effectively multiplying your impact by turning $1 into $2 (or more).
First Nations Bushfoods and Botanical Alliance Australia

Growing an Indigenous Agri-Culture HUB

This project seeks to create an Indigenous female-led bushfoods and botanicals Retail and Tourist destination which will require (fit-out, stocking and staff) to develop the initial commercial retail space. It will showcase Indigenous bushfood & botanical products made by Aboriginal women. We also aim to establish a processing and education program, including a mobile division that focuses on educational product development for women in remote communities nationally.

Teacher Outreach - Arusha Project

Our Foundations approach is to provide a comprehensive, ‘360-degree’ support program, which targets the 60% of under qualified teachers in Tanzania. The program operate through a designated a ‘Teacher’s College’ in Arusha City, being a middle ground service, supporting teachers...