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Back to PNG Night Revisited

 

Based on the roaring success of the last Papua New Guinea Connection night, the Eumundi Rotary Club will be having a fundraiser on Saturday 1st February from 5-7.30pm at the School of Arts, 63 Memorial Drive, Eumundi.

 

Funds will go towards developing partnerships for women’s and children’s health interventions, researching project needs and completing targeted feasibility studies in Dogura, Milne Bay, PNG. The project will work through long-term relationships already in the local Dogura community. This will be a great fun fundraiser with lots of PNG entertainment and a gathering of those who know PNG well and those who want to know more.

 

The importance of this fundraiser is clear from recent analysis by the Burnet Institute in Melbourne and global research. The Burnet Institute points out that maternal, new-born and child health conditions account for 38 per cent of potential lives lost in low income countries and yet only 17 per cent of health aid in these countries is spent on this priority.

 

In PNG, the rate of women dying in childbirth is still 80 times that of a woman giving birth in Australia and is one of the highest levels of mortality associated with childbirth worldwide. Research shows that in PNG, more than 5000 new-born babies die each year, with over a third of these not surviving beyond the first 24 hours, and a further 7000 children do not reach their fifth birthday. Considering that communicable diseases such as pneumonia, malaria, tuberculosis, syphilis, diarrhoeal diseases, meningitis and HIV account for 50 per cent of deaths each year in PNG, the normal state of pregnancy can easily be complicated by the coexistence of multiple illnesses. By way of comparison, whereas the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital (one of a number of hospitals in Brisbane) has 410 doctors, the whole of PNG has fewer than 400 doctors according to recent research. Some provinces have a single doctor and an ambulance can cost a month wages.

 

Dogura has a small hospital and women walk for days at the end of their pregnancies to give birth there. Those who don’t make it have babies on the jungle floor and hopefully some of these women will at least have the help of Eumundi Rotary Club Birthing Kits. Many women’s and children’s health challenges can be prevented with basic but effective interventions. This project of Eumundi Rotary is only a beginning but it aims to identify how Rotary can assist in scaling up these interventions whether through new partnerships, equipment, buildings or other means. Please come and support this effort.

 

Tickets available for $35 which covers all costs (arrival drink, snacks, entertainment) from Dr Suzanne Campin, International Director, Eumundi Rotary Club or via www.ticketebo.com.au/eumundirotary