Statement by the Indonesian delegation On the Panel on Maternal Morbidity At The 14th session of the Human Rights Council

June 14, 2010 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Mr. President,

Madame Deputy High Commissioner,

My delegation would like to thank the panelists for their insight and constructive contributions to the discussion today.  

            Maternal health in an issue of extreme importance to Indonesia and improving standards in this area is a key priority in the Government’s national development plan. 

            Today’s comments and recommendations from the panel were of great benefit to the wider discussion of achieving Millennium Development Goals Four and Five on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

Mr. President,

            As the 2015 deadline for meeting these goal approaches, Indonesia still faces significant challenges in improving our national maternal mortality figures.

            Whilst there has been good progress in maternal health for Indonesian women over the past decades,  notably with the recent reduction of maternal mortality from 307 per 100 thousand live births to 228 per 100 thousand live births,  we are still far from meeting the expected the MDGs 5 target of 102 per 100 thousand live births by 2015.

The remaining five years unfortunately will leave with no choice for doubling our common efforts to reach the target in 2015. In Indonesia, this involves a two-pronged approach. Firstly, we are striving to improve both the quality and accessibility to community healthcare facilities and affordable drugs, inter alia by increasing the health budget and improving health financing. Secondly, we are enhancing community participation by introducing free health care for the poor.

In addition, we consider public-private and multi-stakeholders partnerships to be highly beneficial and also believe the promotion of public health awareness through campaigns and advocacy is an effective strategy which merits further development.

Mr. President,

In an effort to reducing maternal mortality in the country, the Government of Indonesia has introduced a number of initiatives.  The “Mother Friendly Movement”, “Husband Alert”, “Making Pregnancy Safer Programme”, and the “Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness” all aim to encourage the wider participation of communities, especially husbands and boys, in the pregnancy and birth process.

More training for those involved in maternal healthcare has also been introduced, including a system through which midwives can become officially accredited in accordance with national training standards.

Mr. President,

Healthcare in Indonesia is generally improving, but a lack of access to remote areas, limited health awareness and restricted budgets are just some of the many obstacles we are working to overcome.

As an archipelagic nation of over 17,000 islands, providing sufficient healthcare to the remotest of our communities can be extremely difficult.  In addition, the decentralized nature of our local governments can sometimes result in discrepancies in the level and availability of community healthcare.

However, Mr. President, in conclusion, I would like to reiterate the importance Indonesia attaches to working with the international community on this pressing issue.  We lend our full support to the UN Secretary General’s proposal for A Joint Action Plan for Maternal and Child health, and look forward to being an active participant in the global effort to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.

Thank you.

Geneva, 14 June 2010