Even though midwifery is a female-dominated profession, Clinton Danny Saupere decided to become a midwife after seeing his sister-in-law’s untimely death following childbirth.

Clinton is an awardee of the Australia Awards PNG Scholarship and a native of Hauna Village in the East Sepik Province’s Ambunti Drekikier District.

Through the scholarship program, Clinton graduated with a Bachelor of Midwifery from the University of Goroka in 2022. He is now working as an educator at Tinsley Community Health Worker Training School in Mt Hagen.

“Because the school was in severe need of a midwife to teach obstetrics and gynaecology and didn’t have one, I took this as an opportunity to replicate the knowledge and skills that I have,” he says.

Clinton says that it is important to equip community health workers (CHWs) with vast knowledge about maternal health and skills to serve in the remote parts of the country. “These are the group of health workers who would serve the rural and disadvantaged majority where the maternal mortality rate is high compared to urban centers.”

He believes this approach would have a tremendous impact on the reduction of the maternal mortality rate in the country.

The lack of textbooks and other necessary learning resources for students’ learning is not a big challenge for Clinton. “I am teaching evidence-based lessons using the midwifery textbooks presented to me by Australia Awards PNG. I want my CHW students to serve with vast knowledge and skills while attending to maternal cases.”

He educates students on various topics, including management of common diseases of the reproductive system, management of sexually transmitted infections using a syndromic approach (useful when equipment and training are limited), management of obstetric emergencies and maternal care.

“Seeing the performances of my students being appraised by midwives at their placement site, whether labour ward or antenatal clinic, is rewarding to me as this reflects what has been taught in the classroom,” Clinton proudly says.

For Clinton, the Australia Awards PNG Scholarship program and opportunity to train many midwives in PNG is a terrific blessing. “Without the scholarship, I would not be sharing this experience today”.

He adds, “I have no second thought to recommend the Australia Awards PNG Scholarship to those who want to study midwifery. It has long-term benefits such as ongoing integrated workshops for refreshing skills. Being a member of the PNG Australia Awards Alumni Association is a privilege.”