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Jakarta Post

RI adopts road map to curb maternal mortality rate

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

New York   /   Tue, September 29, 2015   /  05:08 pm

Indonesia has pledged to support the Global Strategy for Women'€™s, Children'€™s and Adolescents'€™ health, a global road map launched by the UN to end the preventable death of women, children and adolescents.

Speaking as one of the panelists at the launch of the global strategy on Saturday, Health Minister Nila F. Moeloek said the government was fully committed to ensuring the health of mothers in the country, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the region.

'€œSustainable Development Goals [SDGs] have given us aspiration, ambition and vision that are transformative, especially in regards to the health of women, children, adolescents and infants. Through the implementation of SDGS, Indonesia is committed to realizing and meeting the agreed targets by strengthening the health service system in line with existing cultural conditions,'€ she said at UN headquarters in New York.

Nila said the government had committed to four points, namely implementing regulations, strengthening the intervention strategy, using the continuum of care approach throughout the first 1,000 days in the life cycle and reducing maternal and infant mortality rate.

The ministry'€™s director general of mother and child health and nutrition supervision, Anung Sugihartono, said on Saturday that most of the global strategy, which was a continuation of the old one launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010, had been adopted by Indonesia in a regulation and planning.

'€œWe already have government regulation No. 61/2014 on reproductive health. We have also drafted the national action plan on the preventable death of women and newborns and are now in the process of facilitating provincial governments to make their own regional action plans to reduce the maternal, newborn and infant mortality rate. Because this effort involves multiple sectors, policy implementation at the regional level fully involves regional development planning boards [Bappeda],'€ he told The Jakarta Post.

Under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the maternal and child mortality rate has fallen faster than at any other time in history. Yet Indonesia is among the countries where the maternal mortality rate actually rose, from 227 per 100,000 live births to 359 between 2007 and 2012, an increase partly blamed on a lack of funding and healthcare services across the archipelago.

Therefore, decreasing the maternal mortality rate is one of Indonesia'€™s four unmet MDGs.

The government has tried to resolve the problem of a lack of funding by allocating Rp 119 trillion (US$814 million) for health care in next year'€™s state budget, or 5 percent of the total budget. This constitutes a significant increase from last year'€™s allocation of Rp 75 trillion, or 3.45 percent of the total budget.

'€œFor the 2016 state budget, we will improve primary health facilities. We will still build hospitals but will prioritize [building] primary health facilities in marginalized and border regions as well as coastal areas,'€ Nila said. Furthermore, the government is mobilizing human resources to the aforementioned regions.

'€œBecause we know the distribution of health officers is not even in our country,'€ said Nila. '€œAlhamdulillah [God willing], five main types of health officers '€” midwives, internists, pediatricians, anesthesiologists and surgeons '€” will want to be sent to regions.'€

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