The Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH) Program has been supporting the NTT (Nusa Tenggara Timur) Provincial Government in improving maternal and neonatal health since 2009. This year (2015), the Program will come to its conclusion. The evaluation meeting and the farewell party for the Program was held at the Grand Palace Surabaya on the 7th October 2015.
During the Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting, ‘to celebrate and share’, James Gilling from the Ministry of Development Cooperation of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that the Government of Australian has been involved with the NTT Provincial Government in the big efforts to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and that it is time now for NTT Provincial Government to continue those efforts with its own resources when AIPMNH is completed.
The Governor of NTT thanked AIPMNH for its assistance. ‘Australia is our good neighbour. Although the program is ceased for this year, I am sure that there will be another assistance in the next two or three years. When we have no salt in our home, we will seek help from our neighbour’ said the Governor.
The governor assured that the provincial government will continue the effort and mentioned that the partnership has brought about positive results i.e. reduced maternal and neonatal mortalities. The head of Commission V of the provincial council mentioned that the council is now working on the maternal and neonatal health draft to be passed on as the provincial regulation. ‘The revolutionary effort in improving maternal and neonatal health will be continued even though AIPMNH has concluded its programs in NTT’ said Rondo. He added that currently 10% of the provincial budget (APBD I or about IDR 300 billion) has been allocated for health including maternal and neonatal health. The Head of NTT Provincial Health Office, Dr. Kornelis Kodi Mete, said that AIPMNH has left behind the legacy in the form of various best practices that can be replicated.
The Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting was attended by government representatives, district health offices, Commission V of provincial council, district councils, and religious leaders. The meeting was concluded with signing of commitment contract of all stakeholders to continue all the efforts in improving maternal and neonatal health which have so far been part in the partnership with AIPMNH. The national, provincial, district and village governments are expected to allocate funds for maternal and neonatal health.
This article was published in Victory News, Monday, Oct 12 2015