It was a real privilege to be a part of an amazing team of 50 enthusiastic people from all over the world, equipped by YWAM, to provide free health care and show support to villagers in remote parts of Papua New Guinea. With at least half of the team in their 20’s we were ensured to have lots of fun. The touch football games, tug-of-wars, and playful interaction with villagers were a fantastic way to show we came as more than just health care workers. Further bonds were developed when we joined with the local churches and prayer was often shared with patients during clinic sessions.
I joined the trip as a midwife and as one of the nurses and was kept busy in this role. Childbirth in rural PNG is risky with haemorrhage and infection being two of the most life threatening issues. Through YWAM Medical Ships Primary Health Care program we were able to reduce these risks. During antenatal checkups I gave women iron tablets, malaria treatment and mosquito nets in an effort to improve their ability to withstand haemorrhage. Education sessions with the traditional birth attendants also focused on haemorrhage and infection, and the Birth Kits we provided enabled them to have clean equipment and place for women to birth. Medications to reduce haemorrhage were given to the Karati Health Centre as they had run out of these vital drugs.
The highlight for any midwife will always be delivering babies, so helping care for Lisa during her first and rather long labour at the Health Care Centre at Karati was special. I was able to deliver her baby and then visit her at home two days later to give her baby vaccinations against Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B. I have been a midwife for 30 years but WOW this is the first time a family has ever insisted on naming their baby after me. It brings a smile to my face when I think that there is a little girl in remote PNG called Debbie and I hope to meet her again one day.