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Indonesian Health Care System Rebuilt After Tsunami

Indonesia has made steady progress in revamping the health care system, after widespread devastation by the Tsunami that stuck on the 26th of December. More than 100, 000 million individuals lost their lives and a million others were injured badly.// JHPIEGO, a John Hopkins University affiliate has been of great help in the process of rejuvenation of the health care system in Aceh.

Midwives form an integral part of the health care system in Indonesia. Infact 80 to 90 % of maternal and newborn care was instituted by midwives, both in the private and public arena. According to official estimates, more than 600 midwifes were either killed or lost their practice due to the tragedy. A partnership between the Aceh chapter of the Indonesian Midwives Association (IBI) and the association enabled a reestablishment of midwifery services.

Staff members of JHPIEGO also helped in the relocation and mobilization of midwives, soon after the tsunami stuck. This to a large extent filled the gaps in health care services throughout Indonesia. In addition, volunteers were also encouraged to participate in diverse areas such as prenatal care, newborn care, vaccination, contraception and other health care services.

"JHPIEGO was honored to be such a large part of the relief efforts after the tsunami. We've maintained health care programs focused on women and families in Indonesia for over 30 years. Because of our close working relationships with the Ministry of Health, nongovernmental organizations, and local professionals and business groups, we were well-poised to help with emergency healthcare relief and now with a long-term strategy for a new healthcare infrastructure,” comments Dr. Mancuso, president and CEO of JHPIEGO.

"A midwife is the village's first point of contact for primary care and referral. The education of new and practicing midwives is one of the key factors in reestablishing and improving quality health care in Indonesia. JHP IEGO is committed to bringing the best services possible to the women and children of this region,” concluded Mancuso.

Partners of JHIPEGO have been continually involved in improving the standard of community health centers and midwifery schools. Latest medical equipments have also been provided to ensure delivery of quality health care. Last but not the least, midwifery training (normal delivery care) has been provided to over 200 midwives, and free service vouchers distributed to women in camps.

The mobilization of financial help from three major private sector enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil and UNOCAL, is further believed to strengthen the midwifery services in Aceh. Initiatives have already been made in three different villages (worst affected by Tsunami) to improve the working capacity of health care providers.

Zainal Abidin Hospital, the largest referral center in Aceh, has been provided with new medical equipments and the delivery ward has started to receive a lot of cases. ExxonMobil's will work towards empowering women with adequate knowledge and will provide appropriate technical training at North Aceh Health Academy.

The UNOCAL Foundation grant will contribute to the revitalization of Ingin Jaya Sub-district (Aceh Besar District). With such untiring efforts, Indonesia would soon be back to normal, at least in terms of providing health care services.


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