Recommendations Post Conference
Establish a Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Programme
- Cervical Cancer is the most common female cancer in the Pacific, contributing to disease burden and causing more than 1,500 premature deaths per year in the region. These deaths can be prevented if pre-cancer status is detected and treated early. Primary and secondary prevention that are effective and practical for Pacific island settings should be pursued.
- The Society made strong commitments to develop a Pacific-oriented guideline on Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Prevention to help countries address this problem. PSRH will embark on collaborating with governments and key partners in the region to pursue this agenda.
- A multi-country Technical Working Group on Cervical Cancer Prevention will be coordinated by PSRH to oversee the development of this programme and facilitate its progress.
Support Health Workforce Development in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- The shortage of health workforce in midwifery and obstetrics is a long-standing problem in the Pacific and affects the quality of service delivery in maternal-newborn care. The issue needs to be positioned high in the agenda of development and in the discussions among governments and development partners.
- PSRH is well-positioned to engage in advocacy dialogue with donors and development partners to leverage resources and sponsorship for strengthening health institutions (midwifery schools, Fiji National University and UPNG) to produce adequate health workforce for the region.
Strengthen the Capacity of Midwifery Training Institutions to produce increased numbers of Midwives to meet national targets
3.1 Shortage of midwives has been a long-standing problem that hinder the provision of essential maternal-newborn care at all levels of the health care system. Increasing the numbers of midwives to fill in the large numbers of vacancies is critical to make progress in quality of care especially at primary care level.
3.2 The Midwifery segment of PSRH Board will work with governments and development partners to reassess the situation in the Pacific and develop strategic plans that are practical and affordable in addressing the issues.
Increase Contraceptive uptake and Reduce the Unmet Need for family planning in the Region
4.1 Family planning is an effective intervention for reducing maternal deaths and should be strongly promoted to couples and individuals as an essential component of essential maternal health package.
4.2 PSRH will collaborate with countries, donors and development partners on innovative ways to reach more people with effective contraception, with a focus on long-acting methods of contraception.
Other important Recommendations
In addition to the above, the conference discussed other recommendations relevant to the needs of the region. The PSRH Secretariat will endeavor to mobilise partnerships with relevant institutions to partner in these areas. These include:
- Mainstream the prevention of gender-based violence as part of existing services for women and children. More specifically, screening for GBV using simple practical screening tools can be introduced in clinical settings at all levels of the health care system.
- Strengthen the practice of functional and effective maternal death reviews as an effective intervention for improving quality of care. PSRH can work with other partners to expand the application of standard methods and templates that can be modified, as appropriate.
- Explore the establishment of a “surgical skills laboratory” at the two main medical training institutions – Fiji National University and University of Papua New Guinea. The aim is to ensure that graduating doctors are well skilled in conducting operations and perineal repairs.
- Work in partnership with Ministries of Education in selected countries to support the development of a position statement on the need to incorporate Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Education as a compulsory subject in the school system.