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Serang, Indonesia, July 14, 2016

Indonesia’s rates of maternal and newborn deaths are alarmingly high - among the highest in Asia. More than 17,000 women die every year due to pregnancy-related causes, and there are more than 90,000 deaths of newborns in Indonesia. Project HOPE has been implementing the Saving Lives at Birth project in Serang, a part of Banten Province, Indonesia, since 2012 with excellent results. For example, exclusive breastfeeding from 0-6 months among mothers in this province increased from 28 percent to 58 percent since the start of the project. Due to this success and other successes, Saving Lives at Birth has been renewed for three more years and is expanding to reach more women and children in need. Here is just one example of how this program is saving so many lives.

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My name is Riska, and I’m a midwife at a health center in Tunjung Teja, Indonesia. In my practice as a midwife, I have often encountered cases of premature rupture of the membrane, but I always referred them to the hospital or health center, even though this caused a delay in treatment, because I wasn’t confident I had the skill to handle this risky condition for the mother and baby.

On June 18, 2015 my pregnant patient Yuli, age 29, from Bojong Pandan village, called me saying she had been very nauseous since the prior evening, and her water had broken. She was already very weak. After I examined her, I saw that her membrane had ruptured too soon. Thanks to the knowledge and skills I’d received from Project HOPE, I knew how to immediately give an infusion and medicine to the mother.

Within two hours the baby was born healthy and immediately cried. I’m proud to say that I was able to help both mother and baby without delay for a safe delivery.

The Saving Lives at Birth project is funded by Johnson & Johnson.

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