The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) has graduated another 10 community health workers (CHW) with midwifery skills under its CHW Up-skilling Training Program.
The five male and five female graduates were presented with their certificates during a graduation ceremony at Hotel Kimininga in Mt Hagen recently. This was the 5th time the course had been conducted.
The students who included two CHWs – a male and female – from Kompiam and Tukusenda Community Health Posts (CHPs) in Enga Province had gone through six months of intensive training in both theory and practical, particularly in midwifery skills.
The participants from Western Highlands included one each from Lumusa, Kurimb, Waknam, Tipulga, Tigi and Mukapeng Community Health Posts and two from Bonga.
There are five provinces in the country that are conducting the CHW Up-skilling Training Program and the WHPHA has graduated a total of 47 CHWs so far since the commencement of its training program in 2012.
Trainer and facilitator of the course, Sr. Jolly Kulimbua when presenting a report on the training thus far, said CHWs trained under this program were not going to the rural areas to serve and it has now been decided that those currently serving in CHPs in the districts would be selected to be trained.
She said Enga has had eight CHWs trained so far out of the 47 which left Western Highlands with 39 trained CHWs and this should now cover all CHPs in the province.
Sr. Kulimbua said presentations by two CHWs who had completed their training and were providing the services had shown that such training was important as it helped them save the lives of a lot of mothers and babies and urged responsible authorities to continue to fund the program.
She thanked the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Rural Primary Health Services Delivery Program (RPHSDP) and WHPHA for their continued financial support and in particular, the RPHSDP and WHPHA for sponsoring the program this year.
She also thanked the spouses of the CHWs for their support and urged them to continue to support them as they were providing a vital service which required them to work both day and night to save lives.
“From the two presentations, we have learnt that there have been more successes in deliveries after their training and this shows such training is very important and needs to be supported and funded continually,” she said.
Sr. Kulimbua said the training program proved very successful as it helped to improve maternal health services in communities, reduce maternal, perinatal and early neonatal deaths, relieve the burden of overcrowding at the provincial hospitals and empower staff in rural health facilities to do something they could not do previously.
The graduation was witnessed by the acting Chief Executive Officer of the WHPHA, Dr. Paulus Ripa, the Chief Executive Officer of the Enga Provincial Health Authority, Mr. Aaron Luai and other senior executives of both organizations.