8 May 2012

PNG researchers say maternal death high due to limited health services

4:38 am on 8 May 2012

Researchers in maternal and child health in Papua New Guinea say 80 percent of maternal deaths could be avoided if women had better access to medical care.

The PNG Institute of Medical Research has been conducting a six month study on maternal health in Upper Bena Village in the Eastern Highlands.

The Institute's Head of Maternal and Child Health, Lisa Vallely says the ratio of women who die during childbirth is 733 out of 100,000, making it one of the highest in the world.

She says many women are not giving birth at a health clinic due to lack of money or transport.

"For the Upper Bena area where we are working, the road is unmade and if it's wet season it's just too wet and muddy and the vehicles cannot pass along the road. So if they do have the money for transport, they still need the transport to be there, which is often there isn't transport available for them."

Lisa Vallely says some women also have cultural concerns about receiving medical care from male health practitioners.