Papua New Guinea: Nazarene Health Ministries (NHM) opened its maternity wing in their Wafa clinic on 7 October 2022. Alongside the opening of the maternity wing, solar equipment was also installed in the clinic. Wafa is a village located in the northern part of the Wafa River in Markham Valley of the Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).  This clinic is one of the eight clinics operated under the Rural Health Services, which is a division under NHM.

The maternity clinic provides a place for mothers to give birth in a clean environment with nurses and nurse aids to assist, a place for the mother to shower after giving birth, and beds with privacy to rest and recover after giving birth. The facility also provides antenatal care for expecting mothers and counseling and support for expecting and new mothers.

Carrying equipment across the river

The Wafa clinic serves about 35,000 patients per year.  The catchment area of this clinic is estimated to be about 15,000 people. The reality is that many of the other clinics surrounding the catchment area are either not functioning, have no medicines, or have unreliable staffing, so thousands more walk for days to get to the clinic in Wafa.

The project was made possible by a financial grant from TearFund. Mr. Greg Maurer, the NHM CEO, was instrumental in writing the grant proposal.  Nazarene Mission Services managed the funding and completion of the project. Mr. Gabriel Mahisu, director of Rural Health Services with NHM, coordinated the project.  Lastly, Mr. Philip Gawale, an employee of Nazarene Mission Services, was the site foreman, and lived and worked in Wafa for five months to work with the locals who constructed the maternity wing.

This project at Wafa was one of the three maternity wings added to rural health clinics all around Papua New Guinea.  The project also includes installing 17 new solar power sets at five rural health clinic sites. This ensures that these clinics will have reliable electricity, along with twelve staff houses that are associated with these clinics.