Especially when that nine-year-old girl probably wouldn't have survived if you hadn't done a medical evacuation flight nine years ago,’ shares Michael Duncalfe, a senior pilot with almost 25 years experience of flying in Papua New Guinea.
‘Nine years ago,’ Michael explains, ‘Peggy was in trouble with a difficult birth. I flew her to Mount Hagen from her home village of Koinambe, and she gave birth to Nicki - named after my wife Nicki who visited and helped Peggy while she was in hospital.’
‘We saw Nicki and Peggy on a recent visit to town. Peggy was supporting her father who was waiting for an operation. Nicki is living with Peggy's sister so that she can go to a better school than would be possible in her home village.'
‘This story gives you a glimpse of togetherness: A man from the UK, skilled as a pilot, is able to save a young mother in childbirth.'
If I hadn't been able to do that flight nine years ago...?
Nine years ago we shared Peggy's story with supporters across the UK. It inspired people to give, pray and become supporters so MAF could continue saving lives. We turned Peggy's story into a simple film to show at churches, events, and meetings with donors. People were moved by the tragic reality of lives lost in childbirth in Papua New Guinea, the medical need that comes with isolation, the value of a MAF flight - in lives.
It was Peggy and Nicki's story but also the story of hundreds of mothers each year whose lives are saved because they reach hospital in time. ‘This story gives you a glimpse of togethernes' Michael explains. 'A man from the UK, skilled as a pilot, is able to save a young mother in childbirth.' 'Every year MAF PNG does somewhere in the region of 400 medevacs, Each person has their story. Each one is a life. Each one is precious in God's sight.'
1 in 120 women
Nine years ago, in 2009, the situation for many women and children in the world was bleak:
- 1,500 women were dying every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- 10,000 babies were dying each day within their first month of life.
In 2018, the situation is improving:
- 830 women die each day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- 6,850 babies within their first month of life die every day.
While maternal mortality rate continues to fall worldwide, Papua New Guinea remains one of the most dangerous places on earth to give birth for mother and child. It is estimated that, in 2018, 1 in 120 women die in childbirth (in the UK it's 9 in every 100,000 each year).
Despite the progress, 99% of all maternal deaths still occur in developing countries. The target, between 2016 and 2030, is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
Stopping for the one...
Please continue to uphold our ministry in Papua New Guinea.
- Pray for MAF's fleet of 12 aircraft and 126 staff.
- 87% of people live in rural areas in Papua New Guinea and MAF flies to 217 airstrips. Pray for the unique needs of these communities where health, education, and livelihood opportunities are often limited.
- Lift up the mission hospitals at Kompiam and Rumginae where many patients are flown for treatment. Praise God for the medical outreach flights MAF is facilitating so villages with airstrip can receive healthcare. Pray for the remote clinics that are the first port of call for the sick and injured.
- Praise God for every life saved through a medevac flight.