Jakarta Globe Examines Maternal Mortality In Indonesia

The Jakarta Globe examines maternal mortality in Indonesia, writing, “Indonesia may be progressing slowly and steadily toward fulfilling its targets under the Millennium Development Goals, but the issue of maternal health continues to present many challenges.” According to the newspaper, “Government statistics show that the maternal mortality rate [has] declined,” but “a report last week by health officials in Bali has highlighted a worrying reversal, with the provincial maternal mortality rate increasing from 58 per 100,000 in 2010 to 84 last year.”

“Nyoman Sutedja, the head of the Bali Health Office, attributed the increase to the lack of quality health care available at community health centers (Puskesmas),” the Jakarta Globe writes. “Slamet Riyadi Yuwono, the Health Ministry’s director general for nutrition and child and maternal health, acknowledged that maternal mortality rates might be on the rise in some regions but cautioned against reading too much into the figures” and “said the rise could be attributed to the government’s 2010 policy to provide free maternal and child delivery services,” the news service notes. As more women take advantage of care services in hospitals, instead of giving birth at home, more cases are being recorded, he said, adding, “Indeed, the absolute number as recorded has increased, but the real rate has gone down” (Sianipar, 4/3).