In the last few weeks, sessions of maternal health training have again occurred at Popondetta General Hospital (PGH). Many of the health professionals travelled long distances from places including Itokama, Ambasi, Gona, Sakarina, Wanigela, Tufi, Afore and Ako to attend the training.
Lester Dona was one of these people. Initially Lester was surprised at being offered a place at the two-day maternal update course. But then he remembered his former tutor with St Margaret’s at Oro Bay, John Gadebo, now headed up the training unit at the hospital.
The difficult part lay ahead with a full day of walking on a bush track and then waiting the next day to get a PMV to Popondetta town. At his health centre, he is the only qualified person and he explained how updating his skills and getting medical drugs were big problems. There had been a breakthrough however, and they now had access to an emergency helicopter mainly for pregnant women with blood pressure problems and bleeding.
Lester was one of twelve participants who travelled from outlying areas of Oro Province to attend the training. These areas are remote and sadly, the health care professionals are forced to deal with difficult situations on a constant basis.