12 Nov 2018

Vanuatu struggling to increase number of midwives

12:48 pm on 12 November 2018

The United Nations Children's Fund in Vanuatu says it is working with the government to increase the number of midwives being trained in the country.

A file photo shows a midwife with a pregnant woman.

Photo: 123RF

A UNICEF health specialist said a number of health facilities in Vanuatu are not well staffed and some of them are even closed due to a lack of trained health personnel.

A Court of Appeal decision ruling a year ago on a stillbirth at Port Vila Hospital revealed negligent maternity care in Vanuatu.

Surenchineg Vanchinkhuu said a recent joint partners meeting between agencies and the government raised the midwifery shortage and the government is looking at how to address the problem.

"Vanuatu workplace development programme will be approved early next year as it was discussed during that meeting. And I am sure that strategy has highlighted all sorts of issues of retaining the midwives on the job."

Ms Vanchinkhuu said recruiting foreign midwifery tutors, raising the level of basic education for girls and paying health staff on time, are all things the government says it will work on.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs