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.
My name is Mrs. Eli, age 48, and I live in Menteng, Indonesia. I’ve already been a Community Health Volunteer (kader) for 18 years, but for the first time I learned about recognizing danger signs during pregnancy from Project HOPE. This training was important for saving a woman’s life when I was called to a house because of a difficulty delivery. There was no village midwife serving in that village, and the family had been seeking the advice of a Traditional Healer because they thought the woman had been possessed by magic.
I’m proud that I was able to recognize that the pregnant woman was experiencing a seizure, and, with patience and persuasion, I was able to convince the reluctant family that she needed to be taken quickly to the health center for help. The midwife was able to save the woman and baby at the health center. I’m grateful I received the training and confidence to act quickly so I can help women get access to skilled maternal care and prevent needless deaths of mothers in my village.
The Saving Lives at Birth project is funded by Johnson & Johnson.
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