Motorcycles help reduce the maternal mortality in Indonesia

Health for All operates in NTT (Nusa Tengara Timur) which is the province which despite major improvement still shows the highest rate of death rate for mothers in Indonesia. The result of a National Health Survey in 2004 showed that in Indonesia as a whole the death rate of mothers reached 307 per 100,000 live births. NTT had a rate of 554 per 100,000 live births.
In 2007, the Health Demographics in Indonesia showed the national decrease reached 208 per 100,000 while in NTT 306 per 100,000 live births. Although the NTT rate had decreased it was still higher than other provinces.

By way of comparison the rate for the United States in 2005 is 11 per 100,000. Further information on this topic can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maternal_death.

The infant mortality rate in 2004 in Indonesia was 52 per 1000 born alive while in NTT there was an improvement from 62 to 57 per 1000 born alive.

The result of Basic Health Research in 2007 showed that in NTT 77,1 % of delivery services were done at homes, 6,9 % in government hospitals, 6,5 % at public health or sub public health centres, 3,5 % at village maternity houses, 3,0 % in maternity private hospitals and 0,7 % at other places.
Healthworker in NTT with expectant mother
Basic health research in 2007 shows that 46,2 % delivery were done by trained traditional midwives, 36,5 % by midwives, 11,5 % by the member of the family, 4,1 % by doctors, 1,2 % by medical staff and 0,5 % by others.
From the facts above it is clear that many births take place with no health facilities.

A woman’s mortality is caused by unskilled medical staff and unsterile equipments. A causal factor of infant and maternal mortalities is the minimum means of transportation. This applies both to the families and also to the medical staff who lack the means to reach remote areas.

HealthService (1)
Healthworker in NTT with expectant mother

Ideally, during the pregnancy period, a mother should get a health check-up and service called Ante Natal Care (ANC). Ante Natal Care is given to an expectant mother during pregnancy according to the standard of midwifery service. This includes the measuring weight and height blood pressure, measuring fundus uteri height and checking tetanus imunisation status and toksoid tetanus, giving minimum go ferum blets during pregnancy, routine and specific laboratory check-up.There are typically four check-ups, minimum once in the first 3 month, once during the second three months and twice in the third three months.

Due to the condition of NTT and the island’s hilly topography in general women do not get the standard health check-ups during pregnancy. One way the health service solves this problem is by providing motorcycles for the use of health staff. The motorcycle is chosen since this means of transportation is capable to reach the remote areas.
By: Mansetus Kalimantan, HfA Field Coordinator