Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty visited a number of health facilities in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) that were established with financial aid from the Australian government to contribute toward improving people’s health in the province.
Upon his arrival on Friday, Moriarty and his entourage made a field tour of public health centers in Pasir Panjang and Naikoten II, Kupang, which were a few of the 97 health clinics and public health centers under the programs funded by AusAid.
He said he was proud of the aid programs because of the increasing number of pregnant women giving birth at the public health centers and maternal clinics, which was reflected in a decreasing maternal mortality rate in the province.
“Australia is committed to working with the government of Indonesia in East Nusa Tenggara as it is a province with some of Indonesia’s highest rates of poverty. It is good to see the valuable work being undertaken to help reduce NTT’s high incidence of maternal mortality. Since 2008, there has been a 20 percent increase in women giving birth in safer health facilities rather than at home,” said Ambassador Moriarty.
He explained that the Australian government has also provided training programs for health wokers on emergency obstetrics and neonatal care, and supported the campaign program for pregnant women to give birth at health facilities.
The ambassador also visited the South Timor Tengah hospital in Soe, one of the region’s 11 district hospitals participating in the AusAID-funded Sister Hospital program.
“This hospital is now better equipped to deal with emergency obstetrics and neonatal services, thanks to training provided by medical specialists from a tertiary hospital in Surabaya. The sister hospital program is clearly effective and achieving results,” said the ambassador.
In his field tour to Kefamenanu, North Timor Tengah regency, the Ambassador is opening a resource center built under AusAID’s decentralization program.
“This center will serve as an information and data repository for the district. Staff at the center will provide information to public servants, civil society organizations and members of the public, to help with better planning and allocation of local resources,” he said.
The ambasador also held a meeting with farmers in Oenaen village to see the Australian government’s aid program in the agriculture sector in the regency. Through AusAID’s rural program, farmers are being supported to increase productivity and yields.
Moriarty also said Australia would continue negotiating with the Indonesian government to seek a solution to the marine pollution on the Timor Sea, caused by the recent explosion at the oil field in Montara.
This article was published in : The Jakarta Post, Monday, 24 September 2012
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