We were fortunate to have our annual dose of the inspirational May Lamont presenting at our monthly meeting on Friday 5th September.
May was on the founding Committee and subsequently National President for UNIFEM. May has also been a Soroptimist since 1989 and is the Project Manager of the Soroptimist Birthing in the Pacific Project (which is one of the recipients of our birthing kits in PNG) and is now Vice President of the United Nations Association Queensland, where her focus is another issue for women, being peace building.
May explained the recent projects of the Soroptimist International project being the provision of education and training to 16 midwives, 70 community health workers and the 137 traditional birthing attendants.
She shared the stories of Arthur who was an obstetrician who did the midwifery course to learn how to teach others or Paula who wanted to leaned the correct techniques as to date her 17 year experience was based on imitation of best examples from others. Following her course Paula presented successfully in New Zealand.
May also expressed the frustrations experienced in PNG with a wonderful new community health facility built but there was no electricity to operate the equipment and no reliable water for sanitation. Most of these facilities are generally with a dirt floor.
This project is an evolving which will take time and is full of surprises. The need is great and there are too few facilities and staff within the health system. Juliet’s story clearly reflected this overwhelming need.