Maternal mortality is a critical global health issue, reflecting the broader state of healthcare systems and social conditions in a country. Indonesia, a vast archipelago in Southeast Asia, has made significant strides in reducing maternal mortality over the years, but challenges persist. In this article, we will explore the current state of maternal mortality in Indonesia, the factors contributing to it, and the efforts being made to address this pressing concern.
Maternal Mortality in Indonesia: A Snapshot
Maternal mortality refers to the death of a woman during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the immediate postpartum period. It is a key indicator of a country's healthcare system and the well-being of its women. In Indonesia, maternal mortality has seen a notable decline in the past few decades, but the country still faces challenges in achieving further reductions.
As of the latest available data, Indonesia's maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was estimated at 177 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. While this represents a significant improvement compared to previous years, it falls short of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of reducing the MMR to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.
Factors Contributing to Maternal Mortality in Indonesia
Several complex factors contribute to maternal mortality in Indonesia:
- Limited Access to Quality Healthcare: Accessibility to quality healthcare services varies widely across the Indonesian archipelago, with remote and rural areas often facing shortages of healthcare facilities and skilled healthcare providers.
- Lack of Skilled Birth Attendants: Many women in Indonesia still give birth at home without the assistance of skilled birth attendants, increasing the risk of complications during childbirth.
- Socioeconomic Disparities: There are significant disparities in maternal mortality rates between urban and rural areas, as well as across socioeconomic groups. Women in marginalized communities are particularly vulnerable.
- Teenage Pregnancy: Indonesia has a relatively high rate of teenage pregnancies, and younger mothers face a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Hemorrhage and Hypertensive Disorders: Hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) and hypertensive disorders like preeclampsia remain leading causes of maternal mortality in the country.
Efforts to Address Maternal Mortality in Indonesia
The Indonesian government and various organizations have been working diligently to reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal healthcare:
- Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure: Investments have been made to improve healthcare facilities, especially in underserved areas, to ensure that women have access to skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Skilled Birth Attendant Training: Programs have been implemented to train and deploy more skilled birth attendants, including midwives, to provide care to pregnant women and mothers.
- Maternal and Child Health Services: Initiatives such as the Maternal and Child Health Handbook have been introduced to educate women about maternal health and nutrition, emphasizing the importance of prenatal and postnatal care.
- Community Health Programs: Various community-based programs have been initiated to raise awareness about maternal health and encourage women to seek prenatal care and deliver in healthcare facilities.
- Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Efforts to prevent teenage pregnancies through education and family planning services have been expanded.
Maternal mortality in Indonesia has seen significant improvements in recent years, but challenges persist. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing maternal mortality, continued efforts are needed to address disparities in access to healthcare, promote skilled birth attendance, and raise awareness about maternal health issues. With ongoing commitment from the government and healthcare organizations, Indonesia can further reduce maternal mortality and ensure safer pregnancies and childbirth for its women.
- World Bank. (2021). Indonesia. https://data.worldbank.org/country/indonesia
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). (2021). Indonesia. https://indonesia.unfpa.org/en
- Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia. (2017). Indonesia Health Profile 2016. https://pusdatin.kemkes.go.id/folder/view/01/structure-publikasi-pusdatin-profil-kesehatan.html