Posted by Alex Marshall
The club was treated to a ZOOM presentation from Robyn Schmid, a neonatal intensive care nurse at Westmead Hospital and Rennie Schmid, her husband who is a Rotarian. The sobering statistics of maternal and neonatal mortality in PNG was presented. Maternal mortality in 2017 was 145/100000 births and approximately 26 babies die out of every 1000 that are born. Comparable figures for Australia are 5/100000 and 2/1000 respectively.
Robyn, together with colleagues from the Australian College of Neonatal Nurses have been conducting courses in neonatal resuscitation at the Goroka Hospital. There has been a total of 10 weeklong visits with up to 8 trainers between October 2014 and September 2019. In total 1274 episodes of training have been provided to nurses and village birthing assistants. 
Accurate results have been difficult to obtain but resuscitation was performed in 25 out of 576 births, and 14 babies survived. Formerly all 25 would have died.
The nurses have self-funded each trip at an approximate cost of $2000. Rennie discussed the complexities of obtaining funding from within the Rotary network to allow expansion of this worthwhile project within PNG. Robyn emphasized the importance of repetition to allow newly acquired knowledge to be put into practice.