“You never know that what you do could inspire someone to become like you. Do it with heart and diligence,” says Delma Stanley Bata, a midwife and Australia Awards alumna.
When Delma was a child, she loved watching closely how health workers treated patients and saved lives whenever she went to a health facility with her family. This inspired her to become a nurse and then a midwife.
It was more than twenty years ago when Delma began her education journey at Wairiki Village’s primary school in the Gazelle Peninsula in East New Britain Province. The determination to achieve her dream drove her to work hard and succeed throughout her studies. She earned a Diploma in General Nursing from the St Mary’s School of Nursing in Vunapope with an Australia Awards scholarship.
Delma’s first job was working in the theatre at the West New Britain Provincial Hospital. Seeing mothers who face complications in giving birth come for operations motivated her to pursue a qualification in midwifery.
After working for five years, she applied for an Australia Awards PNG Scholarship and successfully completed a Bachelor of Midwifery from the Pacific Adventist University.
For Delma, studying at a private university is an expensive activity. She says, “The scholarship means so much to me as it supported me in earning my qualification. The course motivated me and shaped me to become a better nurse and midwife.”
Delma worked for another three years in the hospital’s labour ward as a midwife, serving an average of ten mothers coming for delivery in each shift.
One night, she was working alone and saved a mother and a baby who almost lost their lives. “The mother was in pain and helpless for the baby. I attended to the mother while giving the baby oxygen and saved both,” she says.
Delma loves her job as a midwife however, she explained that the most difficult thing is getting people to understand the importance of family planning. “Sometimes the husband does not agree with the wife on family planning methods.”
Noticing this as a barrier to address, Delma believes that access to knowledge is the best solution. “I do health education in the antenatal clinic and advise the women to come with their husbands for health education. Out of the mothers that come for antenatal or postnatal care and family planning, less than ten percent of them come with their husbands,” she says.
“Though we do not have privacy in our clinic and hospital settings, we have been educating couples on family planning because it is important.”
Delma recently transferred to Biala Rural Hospital and is now doing multiple tasks in the labour ward, inpatient and outpatient departments.
Reminiscing about her career journey, Delma is proud of her achievements and encourages her friends and colleagues to apply for the Australia Awards PNG Scholarship. “This scholarship program does not only support you throughout your studies, but it also gets you to participate in workshops that add value to your career and personal life.”