Protect Forest Mothers in Papua New Guinea

A microproject by Indigenous Health Solutions, Inc. Vetted since 2017


The risk of death for forest dwelling, indigenous mothers and newborns in the Suowi Valley of Papua New Guinea is higher than nearly any other place; about one third of mothers and babies die preventable deaths. IHS has started to reverse this with midwifery training. Ankave women usually give birth alone in the forest; the midwives constructed a bush birth house for shelter from the elements but it is falling down, has no water, lights, or birth emergency communication and preparedness.

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The Ankave of Suowi Valley typically give birth unsheltered, in the forest. This leaves mothers and newborns exceptionally vulnerable. The village midwives and the women of their community built a shared birthing house where women can be assisted in childbirth under shelter. This bush house, built by the hands of these women, is in dire need of repair, basic equipment such as buckets, water access, emergency communication, and lighting.


These forest villages have no roads, water piping or electricity. Water can be piped to the house from rain catchments. Buckets can be filled at the river to supplement rainwater. Solar backpacks for the midwives can provide portable lighting with space for birth supplies. A solar kit can illuminate the birth house, and charge the emergency radio. Basic construction supplies, like nails, often taken for granted, cannot be obtained in the forest, but would improve the birth house significantly.

Long-Term Impact

With this material support to their training, These indigenous women and their babies will have a better chance of survival with more protected, hygienic and equipped birthing spaces. Dovetailing with the cookstoves project, which is reducing tree consumption and smoke exposure for the Ankave, an initiative like this builds commitment in the community, and sets the stage for more complex interventions to address health of the planet: conservation, human health and education in an integrated way.


Indigenous Health Solutions website

Organization Information

Indigenous Health Solutions, Inc.

Location: Santa Fe, NM - USA
Website: https:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sarthak Das
Santa Fe, NM United States
$405 raised of $7,000 goal
6 donations
9 days left
$6,595 to go
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Every microproject is intended to use the donations it receives in accordance with its stated description; however, it is important to provide project leaders with the flexibility to maximize the potential benefit from the donations they receive. This means that your donation may be used as a part of the main project that supports this microproject, specifically Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea. In this event, the project leader is required to post an update to the microproject detailing the results and reasons behind this change.

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