Port Moresby General Hospital (Image: Facebook)

A heavily pregnant 19-year-old with high blood pressure lost her baby and went partially blind after she was turned away from a Port Moresby hospital in April, as the hospital had no temperature-testing facilities to confirm she was not carrying COVID-19.

One of the country’s obstetrics experts then advised women in Papua New Guinea not to fall pregnant in the next two years. But according to the latest projections from The United Nations Population Fund, a lockdown of just six months will result in 7 million unintended pregnancies.

Experts worry about the ongoing impact of the pandemic in a country with a high maternal mortality rate and scarce access to family planning services.