Essential Obstetric Care in West New Britain Province


The RHTU team returned to Kimbe to conduct Essential Obstetric Care (EOC) training for Health Workers selected from both Kandrian and Talasea Districts. 13 Participants from as many health facilities completed EOC. One of the foundation sessions included in the EOC training is to look at the causes of Maternal Mortality in PNG – why, when and where women die in pregnancy, childbirth and in the post-partum period. We know that 25% of these deaths are attributable to Puerperal Sepsis, the second biggest cause of Maternal Mortality in Papua New Guinea.

RHTU have an interactive session on handwashing techniques, where the Participants are asked to rub a cream in to their hands and then wash their hands using good handwashing techniques. Their hands are then inspected under a UV light which will show areas of the hand, nails, wrists, web spaces and palms where the cream has not been washed off – clearly showing if their handwashing technique is effective. Poor handwashing, or no handwashing, is known to be one of the ways that health workers can transmit bacteria and infection to their patients. Other ways that infection may be transmitted to labouring women is by doing too many vaginal examinations while they are in labour. The O&G Standard Treatment Manual (2010) recommends that a vaginal examination should only be done every 4 hours (no more unless absolutely necessary) and if more than 4 vaginal examinations are done then the woman should be commenced on antibiotics.

DSC01227This photo is of Liiiy Mateng, from Sasavoru Health Centre Kandrian District. Liiiy had just realised that she needed to review her handwashing technique! She was horrified and went to rewash her hands and returned without a speck of cream able to be found. Well done Liiiy! The next photo we took of her showed an amazing smile.

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