Somewhere in the world a woman dies every 90 seconds from complications of birth. Of these deaths, 99 per cent occur in developing countries. The vast majority are preventable. Since 2011, our aim is to reduce Maternal Mortality throughout Papua New Guinea, help encourage family planning and training for safe motherhood awareness. From our work we are continuously helping to provide:
Dr Barry Kirby has spent a decade devoting himself to assisting the women of Papua New Guinea – in particular, pregnant women in and around the 160 scattered islands that make up remote areas of Milne Bay Province. In his early career he helped drive a gravely ill woman to hospital after finding her by the side of the road. Sadly she later died. However the impact of seeing the devastation and grief caused by the failing health system in Papua New Guinea prompted Barry to take action.
In 2010 he undertook a ground-breaking in-depth study into the reasons why so many women were dying during childbirth. He meticulously retraced the last hours of 31 women who died during or shortly after labour. In many cases the common cause of death was bleeding, infection, and prolonged obstructed labour – all of which can be addressed cheaply and with minimal resources.
Dr Kirby found that the women were reluctant to leave their village for a supervised birth at a health centre because they felt “shy at presenting in an impoverished state and not having baby supplies or clothes” and they lacked the $5 equivalent cost for a health centre birth or money to buy food while they were away from their village. Geographical challenges have a deep impact in this region too.
Barry completed a premedical honours degree in Biomedical Science at Griffith University, Queensland in 1995. He moved on to graduated with his MBBS from the University of Papua New Guinea in 2002 at age 52 and obtained his Australian Medical registration after passing the AMC examinations in 2007, while working as an ED doctor at Redlands Hospital, Brisbane. In 2008 Barry returned to PNG and in 2010 he went back to the University of Papua New Guinea, where he undertook a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Using years of his experience and study he has dedicated himself to the service of THOR providing construction, development, education and supplies to women and their families.
To continue helping local villages in PNG and saving lives, we need the following to operate:
Any donations towards the above help us to provide the best possible services to pregnant women and new mothers. We appreciate your support towards an amazing cause.