The President of the PNG Medical Society President, Dr Mathias Sapuri, has called upon Michael Somare to urgently address the country's high maternal mortality rate. More than 2,600 PNG mothers die every year, one of the highest rates in the Asia Pacific region.
Dr Sapuri said that a few years ago, no-one in PNG was supposed to be more than four hours walk from a health clinic; now some people have to walk four days to receive medical treatment. The decline in rural aid posts has seen PNG's maternal mortality rate rise. To begin, Dr Sapuri wants a fund immediately established for emergency air transfers to help expecting mothers in rural areas.
Source: ‘PNG Medical Society wants maternal mortality rates addressed’ by Steve Marshall, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 15 July 2008