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COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns have caused reductions in attendance for antenatal care and deliveries with skilled birth attendants in health facilities, increasing the risk for maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. Maternity services are not always available, and continuity and quality of these life-saving interventions are being severely impacted.

To mitigate these risks, UNFPA Papua New Guinea, through a DFAT- supported regional initiative across the Asia Pacific, embarked on a roll-out of the Safe Delivery App and conducted a training of 18 midwives and health workers in the Western Province in collaboration with the Maternity Foundation and the UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Office. The training was conducted virtually through Zoom with in-person support and facilitation from UNFPA Papua New Guinea country office staff.  

The Safe Delivery App is a smartphone application that provides skilled birth attendants with direct and instant access to evidence-based and up-to-date clinical guidelines on COVID-19 in pregnancy, infection prevention and control, and basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care. 

Less than 24 hours after completing the training, Polycard Iwik, a Resident Medical Officer from the Rumginae Rural Hospital, went back to his workplace and received a woman who presented with an incomplete miscarriage and had developed sepsis. Polycard immediately referred to what had been covered in the training and cared for the woman step by step using the guidance on the Safe Delivery App - saving the woman’s life! 


Resources: The Safe Delivery App can be downloaded for free on a smartphone via the App Store and Google Play.  For more on the app: