Update from the Western Pacific Regional Professional Committee (WP-RPC), November 2023
After noticing that newly graduated midwives and other experienced midwives working alone in rural health facilities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) need additional support, a professional WhatsApp group has been formed. This group, also known as the Midwifery Community of Practice, helps midwives get real time support when they are facing complications. It also provides opportunities for networking, capacity development, practice updates and knowledge sharing across different settings and facilities uniformly in PNG. It helps at improving the knowledge, skills and practice of midwives in PNG, bridging the gap between rural and urban midwives, and improving maternal and neonatal health.
This innovation has been very effective in terms of creating change in practice and improving care provided to our clients. Midwives can build their own capacity by accessing the resources and information shared on the WhatsApp group. In a country where it is geographically hard to connect and reach each other, with the help of technology PNG midwives have found a way to communicate with colleagues, even from a very remote setting and get support in a timely manner. It is motivating and inspiring to get connected, knowing you are not managing a case alone, but with colleagues in real time.
So far, the group has 580 members, including midwives in PNG, partners, stakeholders, politicians, international midwifery leaders, researchers, regulators, educators, obstetricians and gynaecologists. We have shared experiences, advice, knowledge, information, training opportunities, and used the platform to organise client repatriation and referrals.
Image: training event organised based on feedback from WhatsApp group