Two women wearing hospital scrubs smile at the camera.

The importance of inclusion

Quality and accessible health care should be available to all. A necessary part of growing the accessibility of health services, is ensuring everyone is able to participate in building them.

Women make up 70% of the global health workforce, but are underrepresented in leadership roles. A significant gender pay gap and occupational segregation can prevent women from accessing the health care they may be providing.

Interplast is committed to strengthening gender equity through our programs by supporting female clinicians to take on leadership roles and lift up others with them.

What we are doing

Interplast provides opportunities for women to grow in their roles within health systems. Across surgical, anaesthetic, nursing and allied health specialties, we have supported the development of women in health throughout the Pacific and Asia.

In the last year alone, Interplast delivered 1772 training and development opportunities. Of these opportunities, 812 were to women working in clinical roles.

Strengthening inclusion in allied health

Three women sit on a bench, smiling at the camera. One woman is older and has a lower limb prosthesis.

Almah Kuambu, client Anna, and Physiotherapist Florence Yani during an outreach trip in November 2023.

Our participation in the Sapotim Lida program centres women leaders, like Almah Kuambu; Technical Advisor for the National Orthotics and Prosthetics Service of Papua New Guinea.

Almah delivers allied health services to people living in remote areas of Papua New Guinea and is recognised globally as a leader in her field. This program supports her to reach more people, develop a strategic plan for NOPS, and trains NOPS staff in gender equity, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) topics.

Investing in leaders through scholarships

Group of four people smiling in front of the Interplast booth at a convention.

Dr Mumpuni and Dr Karamoy, with Interplast Rotary Coordinator, Janette Etherington, and Dr John Oswald at the Rotary International Convention in March 2023.

We’re also proud to support scholarships that support the growth of women in health. Our two latest recipients of the Ballarat-Surabaya Anaesthetics Scholarship are talented Anaesthetist Registrars, Dr Mumpuni and Dr Karamoy. This scholarship provided them the opportunity to participate in the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney and a series of placements with the Ballarat Health Services and The Royal Children’s Hospital. After their placement, Dr Mumpini was inspired to take her learning on new ways of working back home.

“The teamwork [such as the] discussion between the surgeon, the nurses and also the anaesthetist is good. I think that’s [one of the other things], not only the medical things or the anaesthesia knowledge, that we have to bring back to Surabaya.”

Empowering women to change lives

Two surgeons in full surgical scrubs focus intently on the procedure they are performing.

Dr Mayday Fanueli working alongside Interplast volunteer, Dr Damien Marucci, in March 2023.

Dr Mayday Fanueli is a general surgical registrar in Samoa with an interest in plastic surgery. Dr Fanueli has been supporting the Interplast team on recent visits, working alongside and learning from the team.

She has not yet had the opportunity to train overseas, and would greatly benefit from any professional development experiences. Currently, specialist plastic and reconstructive surgery, such as procedures to repair cleft lip and palates, are unable to be performed at her hospital. Dr Fanueli hopes to change this.

How you can help

It just takes one person to change a life.

You can help Interplast empower women in leadership by sponsoring a scholarship and open doors that may otherwise have remained closed. $10,000 can grant a woman a giant leap in learning and experience, that has a direct flow on effect to the patients she treats and the colleagues she works with.

A portrait photo of Akisi.

“It’s only been 5 years since my graduation, I hear from my boss that what I’m achieving now she would have achieved in 20-25 years of work.” Akisi Dovibua, Physiotherapist at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Fiji and Interplast Scholarship Recipient 2023.

Sponsoring a scholarship has been an excellent way for organisations, businesses and donors to see the immediate impact of their support for Interplast.

You can also contribute directly to our programs by donating to Interplast, so we can reach more women and continue to provide training. This is the best way to spread your impact more broadly across the Pacific and Asia.

Together we can create a more inclusive, equitable world.