LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Despite making strides in maternal health care, Indonesia has stumbled in its fight against maternal mortality, due in part to slow progress in improving the country’s family planning programme, according to the Jakarta Post.
The number of maternal deaths rose to 359 per 100,000 live births last year, from 228 in 2007, the newspaper reported, citing data from the 2012 Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey, released last week.
The survey showed 96 percent of pregnant women received care, up from 93 percent in 2007, and the number of women who gave birth with help from health workers rose to 83 percent from 73 percent five years earlier.
Fasli Djalal, chairman of the National Population and Family Planning Board, said the government’s failure to reduce the fertility rate was to blame for the rise in maternal deaths, the report said.
“Within the last ten years, we have failed to reduce the country’s fertility rate, which stands at 2.6 children per woman. The number was 5.6 in 1971, but since 2002 we have not made any progress,” Fasli told the Jakarta Post.
About 30 percent of maternal deaths are caused by obstetric hemorrhaging, making this one of the leading causes of maternal deaths, the report said. Family planning, delayed childbearing, longer intervals between births and limited childbirth may protect women against obstetric dangers, the report added.