Low Resource Countries Sig

The focus of the LRC SIG is on forming collaborations with neighbouring low resource settings of the south pacific to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality and morbidity. The SIG contributes to the global effort of providing sustainable education and training to healthcare workers, including village health volunteers, on neonatal and maternal care.

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The LRC SIG was established in 2014 to support the global focus on ending preventable deaths of newborns and children <5 years of age - the Sustainable Development Goals.

Our neighbouring developing countries in the south pacific have significant neonatal mortality and morbidity rates as compared to Australia.  In response to this a partnership was established in Papua New Guinea (PNG) between the LRC SIG, Goroka Provincial Hospital and Touching the Untouchables (NGO).  This collaboration provides low-dose, high frequency training to increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of healthcare workers and village health volunteers (VHV) caring for newborns and their mothers around the time of birth. This training is underpinned by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Helping Babies Survive (HBS) program. 

The training teams visit PNG a minimum of twice per year and we have grown over the past 8 years to include training in many provinces throughout PNG.  Further crucial partnerships have also been formed with the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF), Rotary Australia and Taking Paediatrics Abroad. 

Unfortunately due to Covid-19 in-country training has been suspended until further notice. However we have now partnered with Taking Paediatrics Abroad (TPA) to deliver monthly education sessions via Zoom to colleagues across the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu. 

Achievements to date 

  • Delivered Training to over 1100 individuals healthcare workers including:  School of Nursing Students & Midwifery Educators; Goroka Hospital's Nursing, Midwifery & Medical Staff; Village Health Volunteers/Birth Attendants in isolated rural and remote settings.
  • Provided Equipment including an ultrasound machine, washing machine, water tank, syringe pumps, glucometers, biliblankets, warming mattress, oximeters, solar headlamps, HBB training equipment, face masks, suction penguins, delivery suite bed mattresses, newborn clothing, beanies, bunny rugs.
  • Presented Internationally, nationally and locally, with and on behalf of PNG colleagues. 
  • Gained friendships, immense knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the PNG culture. 

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Looking for a Gift for someone special?

Purchase a 'virtual' gift - a resuscitation training kit, newborn parent guides or solar headlamp. All of these are needed to provide training and to support village health volunteers to care for mothers and newborns around the time of birth. For example: solar headlamps to generate light so that VHV's can see whilst supporting birthing mothers to walk to the health care centre or aid post in the rural and remote setting. Take a look HERE.

Donations are also greatly appreciated and can be made HERE.  

Current Committee 

  • Chair: Karen New (Qld)
  • Secretary: Robyn Schmid (NSW) 
  • Treasurer liaison: Karen Walker (NSW)
  • Social media liaison: Melissah Burnett (Vic)
  • Ordinary members: Donna Hovey (Qld), Linda Ng (Qld), Jo Scott (Vic), Judy Macey (Qld), Gill Mibus (SA), Jane Langford (Qld), Jama Morrison (Qld), Lyn Chapple (Qld), Leanne Sheppard (NSW).

We are keen to welcome new committee members and observers to our committee. Contact us at lrcsig@acnn.org.au for more information about this or any SIG matters.

Updated 30 March 2023