Spouse of the Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, Rachael Marape launched the Saving Lives and Spreading Smiles program in Pomio, East New Britain Province today.
She also officially commissioned a solar power system for the hospital that can power 10 LED lights,one fridge for storage of medicine, a freezer to block ice for immunization programs and an Oxygen Concentrator to generate oxygen for fifteen years without coming to Kokopo for refills.
The solar power system also comes with a battery that can provide power for up to nine hours when there is no sun or wind.
Speaking before the launching as the National Department of Health's Advocate for Saving Lives and Spreading Smiles Program (SLSSP), Mrs Marape said women and children need quality health services in rural areas.
"When I looked at what I can do as the wife of the Prime Minister to contribute to the country, I realize that there is a need for health care for women and children.
"I can see that this program will help us mothers.
"Living in town, I gave birth to my children in a good hospital and when I go back to the village, women in the most rural areas do not have access to such services.
"Some babies are delivered using mobile phone torch light."
She said many women in rural areas are unable to get to a health facility to give birth and it is only proper that programs like this are brought to the rural areas and urged men to also contribute towards the health and well being of their families.
Mrs Marape thanked the program partners, UNICEF, the Australian Government and the National Government for making the program possible.
The Saving Lives and Spreading Smiles Program aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in the country by providing training to Community Health Work and acquire reliable and affordable technology to improve health care services in rural districts.