Eddy McCall/MSF
MSF Midwife Elizabeth Milroy performs the initial health checks and vaccinations for a new born, Buin Health Clinic, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. *** Local Caption *** Decades of conflict devastated the health system in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, which lost 25 per cent of its population during the crisis. Working alongside local health authorities, MSF is helping to build healthcare capacity in the far remote south of the island, with a focus on mothers and children. Papua New Guinea has some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. In Buin Health Clinic's maternity department, on the remote south of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, MSF is supporting activities specifically targeting improvements to maternal and child health, such as vaccination programmes, ante-natal and post-natal care, and the development of sexually transmitted infection (STI) services. In 2012, MSF refurbished the maternity waiting ward in Buin HC and significantly improved the referral system from the smaller clinics in the area. As many women live far from the main town of Buin, the maternity ward provides accommodation for women and their caregivers in their final weeks of pregnancy so they are close to the health centre when they go into labour. This avoids pregnant women suddenly having to travel for long periods on extremely poor quality roads or walk for days from remote villages in the event of an pregnancy-related emergency.