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In 2009, the NTT provincial government initiated a program in health sector called Maternal and Child Health Revolution known as Revolusi KIA. This program was supported by Governor Regulation, No. 43, 2009 regarding Maternal and Child Health Revolution.

            The Program was based on the issues surround maternal and neonatal health. Surveys’ results indicate that maternal and neonatal death is quite high. One of the causes is that pregnant women did not give birth at adequate health facilities and without supports from skilled health staff such as midwives and doctors.

            Therefore the Governor of NTT, Frans Lebu Raya, initiated the development of MCH Revolution. “At that time, the maternal and neonatal death was very high and we found that it was because pregnant women did not give birth at adequate health facilities’ said Frans Lebu Raya during the opening of the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH)’s Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting at Garden Palace Hotel, Surabaya, on Wednesday night (7/10/2015).

            The AIPMNH’s partnership has been very supportive for the success of Revolusi KIA program in NTT to date. What will happen after the Indonesia-Australia partnership completes in 2015? The Governor ensures that the Revolusi KIA program will continue. “We are determined to continue this program as it is about someone’s life. We do not need to be sad as AIPMNH has come to it conclusion” said Frans.

            The government has taken necessary steps to anticipate it such as continuing the sister hospital program, improving the capacity of midwives, alert villages/desa siaga, and other programs. “We have done all these in order to help reducing maternal and neonatal deaths’ added Frans.

            The Governor also made an appeal to the Government of Australia regarding the partnership’s completion. “Australia is NTT’s closest neighbour. In our tradition as Timorese (Eastern Culture), when we have no salt at home, we will not seek assistance from our siblings who live far away. Instead, we seek assistance from our closest neighbour” said him.

            Frans encouraged district governments to continue their supports by allocating local budgets. “Now that the Director General is here with us, we’d like to seek supports so that all these innovations may be continued and improved. We all need to work together to implement this program. I am sure the Central Government will not let NTT to walk alone” Frans emphasised.

            The Governor also mentioned the availability and the roles of midwives in supporting MCH Revolution in NTT. “We need good and quality midwives. The midwives need to work together with the traditional birth-attendants” said Frans.

            Considering the importance of MCH, the provincial government of NTT along with the NTT provincial council have developed provincial regulation regarding maternal and neonatal health (MNH). “We are trying to upgrade the Governor Regulation regarding MCH to become provincial regulation and it is now being processed. The governor regulation is not enough and it needs to be upgraded to regional regulation (Perda)” said Governor Frans.

            The head of NTT Provincial Council’s Commission V, Winston Rondo said that the NTT provincial council is now advocating the MCH Bill. Winston would like to seek supports from all stakeholders so that the draft can be passed on to become regulation.

            The participants of the meeting in Surabaya agreed that the program to save women and newborns should be continued. There should be a shared-commitment between the central, the provincial and the district governments, as well as religious and community leaders and various institutions to work hard, smart and holistic.

            The participants also agreed that all the best practices and innovations should replicated by the provincial and district governments and that they need to be sustained. In addition, the community engagement and the population growth control through gender-responsive family planning program should also be the focus.

            The sister hospital program should continue and that the district governments have agreed to replicate the SH Program with the support from their own budgets/ APBD II. The regional governments were encouraged to revolutionise the budgeting process to support the MCH Revolution program.

            The participants agreed that in order to accelerate the reduction in maternal and neonatal deaths it requires supports from the Indonesian Ministry of Health through the placement of non-permanent doctors (dokter PTT), specialist doctors and the improvement of health’s human resources through training and education.

This article was published in Pos Kupang, Thursday, October 16, 2015

Photo: Governor of Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, Drs. Frans Lebu Raya officially opens the AIPMNH PCC Meeting. Standing behind him, (from left): Minister of Development  Cooperation-DFAT, James Gilling, and Dirjen Gizi KIA MoH, Dr. Anung Sugihantono, M.Kes.

AIPMNH is managed by Coffey on behalf of the Australian Government

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