Male midwife proud to be serving mothers and babies in Morobe
Father of four and midwife at Susu Mamas Clinic in Lae, Simon Amos, is proud to be providing maternal and child care to mothers and babies in PNG's second-largest city.
After working as a nursing officer for 10 years, Simon was inspired by a tragic personal experience to pursue midwifery studies and support better health outcomes.
“My niece went into labour in Markham [57km outside of Lae] and had to be brought over to Angau Memorial General Hospital. She passed away on her way to the theatre,” Simon recalls.
“This motivated me to become a midwife and serve the people back home”.
Simon completed his Bachelor of Midwifery at Pacific Adventist University in early 2020. He is one of 40 Australia Awards In-PNG Scholarship midwifery and nursing awardees sponsored by Newcrest since 2017.
The partnership between Newcrest and Australia Awards PNG contributes to workforce development and health service delivery. It also supports capacity development at PNG tertiary institutions.
Health Service Programs Manager at Susu Mamas, Caroline Ninnes, welcomed the support from Newcrest and said, “Susu Mamas is grateful for Newcrest’s support for midwifery training in PNG. As a non-profit organisation, we welcome all private sector support at times when access to funding is challenging.”
Now with new skills on hand back at Susu Mamas, Simon is ensuring that mothers and newborn babies from across Morobe are in good health.
“I examine especially the newborn babies to ensure that they are breastfeeding well and [also] perform neonatal checks,” Simon explains. "Many mothers come to our clinic because they appreciate the full service we offer. We assist and perform [all necessary checks] just as we were taught in the [midwifery] course."
To build on the skills and knowledge acquired during study, Simon recently participated in a workshop organised by senior nursing officers of ANGAU Memorial General Hospital to review antenatal and maternal health care in Morobe Province. Simon hopes to work in a labour ward in the future so he can apply his expertise as widely as possible.
"The support from Newcrest and Australia Awards has allowed me to gain knowledge about identifying problems that mothers face. This now allows me to identify problems in the early stages and quickly refer them to doctors.
“This I believe, contributes to reducing maternal deaths in our country."
Simon hopes he can set an example for other Papua New Guineans to follow in his footsteps and contribute to community health.
“I encourage other male nurses across PNG to not be afraid to take up midwifery. We can make a difference, especially in remote areas.”