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Maternal and Neonatal Mortalities in NTT

NTT Provincial Women Empowerment and Child Protection Agency (BPP&PA) and the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH) found that maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high in NTT.

The 2014 data from the NTT Provincial Health Office show that maternal death was 158 and neonatal death was 1280. Home-births contribute most to mortality rate as women and families are reluctant to use the health facilities.

The Head of BPP&PA of NTT Province, Dra. Bernadeta M. Usboko, AIPMNH Partnership Director, DR. Louise Simpson, and AIPMNH Transition Manager, dr. Henyo Kerong informed this during the Policy Dialogue on Gender and Women Reproductive Health in Kupang, Friday (7/8/2015).

Usboko mentioned that based on the 2014 NTT Provincial Health Data, maternal death was 158 and neonatal death was 1280. Most deaths occurred at home as the communities in NTT are reluctant to use the health facilities.

Therefore, the Women Empowerment Agency in collaboration with relevant partners still keeps encouraging the community to use the health facilities. ‘Maternal and neonatal deaths remain high in NTT because of strong patriarchal system in NTT where women have no space to make their own decisions. Pregnant women have to wait for the husband or the family to make decision. As a result, those who live far away from the health facility would seek help from traditional birth attendant. Surely, this would cause risk. In addition, there is also limited information about reproductive health and birth control program,’ said Usboko.

Similar views were also expressed by Louise Simpson and AIPMNH program transition manager, dr. Henyo Kerong. They agreed that women and families should be educated about health facilities’ deliveries. This is the responsibility of all stakeholders such as religious and community leaders.

‘We have been facilitating this Program from 2009 to 2014 in 14 districts in NTT. The Revolusi KIA (Maternal and Child Health) initiated by the NTT Government has resulted in the reduced number of maternal and neonatal deaths in NTT. But we have to keep promoting and encouraging pregnant women to use health facilities,’ said Henyo.

Simpson added that maternal and neonatal deaths are also caused by lack of knowledge, early marriage, too many children and pregnancy in older age – all of which contribute to pregnancy risks.

This article was published in Pos Kupang, 8th August 2015

PK 08aug2015 kematian ibu masih tinggi
                A recent mother with her newborn in Puskesmas Oinlasi, Timor Tengah Selatan. Photo by AIPMNH

AIPMNH is managed by Coffey on behalf of the Australian Government

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