THE Australian Government will provide 450 scholarships for Papua New Guineans to study in the health sector next year to address the shortage of skilled and qualified workers.
The Australia Awards Pacific Scholarship programme that began in 2012 has supported Papua New Guineans each year to study nursing, midwifery and community health work.
“Many maternal deaths occur in the rural areas where there is a shortage of trained health workers to assist mothers deliver their babies safely,” Australian High Commissioner to PNG Deborah Stokes said yesterday.
“Over 170 students from the Australia Awards Pacific programme have graduated with a bachelor of midwifery or certificate in community health work and are now bringing health care services to their communities.”
Eligible Papua New Guineans are provided with a scholarship to support their studies, and gain qualifications in bachelor of midwifery, diploma or bachelor of nursing, or certificate in community health work. 
A team from the Australia High Commission and Australia Awards-PNG facility has visited Manus, Northern, West Sepik, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, Southern Highlands and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in a road show to raise awareness about the programme.
The road show attracted over 860 participants from schools, provincial administrations, provincial health offices and provincial hospitals. 
The road show aimed to encourage applications from rural areas to undertake studies and serve in areas critical to heath in their communities.

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