The Flinders Overseas Health Group brings Australian volunteer doctors and midwives together to deliver practical training in the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies to small groups of “front-line” midwives on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia.

Participants report significant improvements in their confidence in dealing with emergency situations, and benefit from the hands-on nature of the training.

In this isolated and poorly resourced environment, the nearest hospital is over two hours away, and many of the health centres where births take place lack basic equipment and have staff who may lack adequate training to deal with a birth emergency.

Small group teaching encourages continuing on-the-job practice, and the day-to-day passing on of these simple but life-saving skills to colleagues, creating a self-sustaining ripple effect.

Funds from Send Hope Not Flowers have provided essential equipment for this training, and has also subsidised costs for Australian midwives to take part in the teaching.