Goroka Appreciates Baby Deliverers

Midwifery Day was celebrated in Goroka on the 5th May 2014. The event took place to commemorate the hard work of mid wives across the country. Eastern Highlands Province came alive when mid wives across the Province gathered to celebrate their work and discuss issues that affect them and their work.  Groups present to celebrate the day include Goroka General Hospital Staff, Kainantu District, Ungai Bena District, Lufa District and Henganofi District. Below is a brief of the celebration.


Goroka General Hospital did a power point presentation on a research on Labour Ward. The research was carried out by Sr.Wanis Koral who is a trained midwife for seven years.

The main problem identified in the research is shortage of midwives at the hospital. With many referrals received everyday from outstations and sub health centers, it needed more trained people in the field of widwifery at Goroka General Hospital.

Many come as far as Obura Woninara, Kainantu, Ungai Bena, Lufa whose health facilities are runned down or non- existent.

The nurses at Goroka General Hospital face numerous challenges and include, need more training for nurses, employ more skilled and knowledgeable workers to manage different types of births. Also referrals to tertiary hospitals could decrease sustainability.


Kainantu has over 16, 000 patients visiting every week with 1000 plus women giving birth every week, they have only 7 mid wives. According to Sister in charge Hannah….

There is no power and electricity in the hospital and so the babies are delivered using torch lights and lights from mobile phones.

Women with serious cases are referred to the general hospital and sometimes these women had to pay for the ambulance fuel. However, in most cases, they provide their own transport to the hospital.

Other challenges midwives in Kainantu face include, no doctors at the rural hospital; old staffs with no further trainings; no water supply at the hospital; no ambulance driver since there is no money to employ one;  no medicine to treat patients as a result they are referred to Gorki and; limited staff (4 nurses) and more work.


Lufa District is one of the largest districts in Eastern Highlands Province but least developed especially in terms of its health sector. Midwifery is no doubt. It has only 6 nursing officers who cater for the whole area.

Major challenges the district faces in terms of midwifery include, no electricity (proper lighting) for deliveries, as a result, deliveries are done at night using mobile phones and battery operated lights. Mothers with complications are referred to Goroka General Hospital at their own expense- transport and fuel.

Furthermore, there is no water supply at the hospital and unhygienic and dirty utensils. This has encountered for 15 % maternal deaths every year meaning 15 mothers die every year.

Where is the health free health care that was promised by the government?


About 65% of deliveries (according to Sr Karina) in Henganofi area is unsupervised.  These goes to show the numerous challenges midwives in Henganofi District face in their line of duty. Some of these include shortage of skilled midwives for deliveries; high labour rates and less midwives; lack of awareness on family planning resulting in high pregnancy among young girls at the ages of 14 and 19 years; higher rates of HIV and AIDS cases; deteriorating condition of health centres.  Even though Clinton Foundation has built a clinic in the area, the Government is reluctant to fund staffs to manage the clinic, shortage of funds to buy drug supplies. The government is depending heavily on outside charity or donor organizations and not trying to help its people.