A NEW postnatal care building for the Waniati Maternal Waiting Hut (WMWH) at Okiufa village outside Goroka town was opened on Thursday thanks to the Digicel PNG Foundation.
Victor Timothy and wife Bolena Azimo, who is a midwife, have turned their family home into a place for pregnant women from rural and remote areas can stay and have supervised deliveries at the Eastern Highlands Provincial Hospital.
The couple started the Waniati Development Association (WDA) Inc in 2018 to address the high maternal and infant mortality rate in the province.
Timothy, who was the 2021 Man of Honour awardee, said the building was funded by the Digicel PNG Foundation through its community grants programme.
The building was opened by the Digicel PNG Foundation regional manager Brian Malone.
The building has two rooms which can accommodate 10 mothers, an examination room, storage room and shower room and can serve as a postnatal clinic.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of women coming to be accommodated at the hut so this support is very timely,” he said.
“Basically, it means more women and their babies will be helped and deaths can be prevented.
“The first six weeks after birth are critical for the mother and the baby’s health as it is during this time that they are prone to infection so it is important that they receive proper care.
“After giving birth at the hospital, the mothers will return to the hut and use the building for the necessary postnatal care.
“The other building will only be used for antenatal care.
“Since we have professional health workers on our staff the hut also serves as antenatal and postnatal clinic taking some load off the provincial hospital.”
Timothy said the hut was focused on women from rural, remote and fly-in areas but it was also open to any women and their babies.
He also thanked Care International PNG which installed a 9,000-litre water tank and hand wash basin next to the building.
“Antenatal and postnatal mothers walked for miles to fetch water for cooking and drinking,” he said.
“The installation of a water tank will ease the water needs.”
The National / PNG Health Watch
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