Indonesia far from achieving maternal mortality rate target

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 04/20/2011

Indonesia’s target to reduce the maternal mortality rate by the end of 2015 will be hard to achieve unless primary units of maternal health services work harder, a doctor says.

Budi Iman Santoso, the head of the Obstetric and Gynecology Department at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM), said Wednesday that primary units consisting of midwifes, Community Health Centers and families should work better and faster, “Or we will fail to reach the MDG target on maternal mortality reduction.”

Last year’s maternal mortality rate was 228 deaths per 100,000 live births. The Indonesian government has set up the target of 102 deaths in 2015. “Currently, the national maternal mortality rate is still more than 200 deaths,” Budi said.

The most effective way to reduce the mortality rate, he said, was to improve health facilities in primary units.

“The government must improve the facilities in primary units first before improving the facilities in large hospitals,” he added.

Budi said the facilities in primary units were considered poor.

“The fact is, 80 percent of maternal mortality cases happen in primary services units, either in the Community Health Centers or midwife [clinics]. They have yet to provide the best services,” he said.(lfr)

Source: The Jakarta Post