I am a Nursing officer who has been working in some of the most remote health facilities in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). I was given the opportunity to study at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) under the Australian Awards Fellowship (AAF) Program in 2019 with 23 other fellow Papua New Guineans on Family and Child Health – Planning and Administration to effectively address the escalating health issues affecting our women and children in our country.
The knowledge and skills I have acquired in 12 weeks of training at QUT has empowered me to effectively manage and address the low contraceptive usages in my home district. Our records in 2018 showed that only 16% of child-bearing women accessed contraceptive methods and others unknown. The bearers were as a result of lack of knowledge surrounding sexual and reproductive health, geographical isolation, poor human resourcing and cultural bearers within those localities.
However, after attending to the short course studies, I was able to raise more awareness in schools, antenatal clinics, immunization and other integrated clinics, churches and market places, this has seen more women and couples come to realise the importance of family planning and the need to access them.
I was able to register more than 487 women for contraceptive within the 12 weeks of project implementation phase. The project was aimed at achieving 16% to 32%. However, it was pleasant to see that the figure has passed the target to 35%. A slow but significant achievement. I am more determined to continue work hard to ensure more women come to access contraceptive methods within my home district until I reach at least 80% coverage.
I would like to thank the hardworking QUT staff headed by Dr. Lisa Peberdy for the tremendous efforts put towards enhancing my skills and knowledge. Now I am more than prepared to contribute meaningfully for the wellbeing of our women and children to live a healthier and sustainable lives.