Within Bamio village lies one of the best health clinics in the area, operated by village health care worker, Josephina. Josephina came to the village in 2009 to provide services for the surrounding Bamu River villages.
In the back of the clinic sits a room labelled “Delivery Room,” and it is only about 2.5m x 3m. It is outfitted with a bed made of bamboo and grass, covered by one plastic sheet that Josephina cleans and reuses, as well as two buckets filled with water. When the expectant mothers of the village go into labour they come to see Josephina and she checks them to make sure labour is going as it should. If they are 2-3 cm dilated, she instructs them to walk around. When their water breaks they lie down on the birthing bed and begin pushing. She has very few resources to work with, and the single plastic sheet dramatically increases the possibility of infection or even death for both mother and baby.
After meeting Josephina in Bamio, YWAM Medical Ships was able to give her twenty-five birthing kits to use. These birthing kits each have one new sheet of plastic and soap to keep the mother and baby clean and prevent infection. They also come with string to tie the umbilical cord, gloves for whoever is assisting with the birth, a sterile wipe for the baby’s eyes, and one clean razor to cut the cord. With these birthing kits Josephina hopes to see a decrease in the amount of labour mortalities; offsetting the staggering statistic of 1 in 7 women in rural Papua New Guinea dying in childbirth.