Wed, 18 Oct 2000

Healthy Indonesia week begins

JAKARTA (JP): A coalition on Healthy Indonesia in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and John Hopkins University will launch a program called "Saving Women's Lives", which aims at reducing the maternal mortality rate in the country.

The one-week campaign, starting next Monday, will feature several seminars on the female reproductive system, the family planning program, early detection of uterine and breast cancer as well as violence toward women, a release from the coalition said on Tuesday.

Fifty-two percent of the country's 210 million population are women and there is an average of five million pregnancies per year with about 18,000 to 20,000 deaths due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth, Ministry of Health data reveals.

Four out of 10 babies die in the first week of life, the data says.

Indonesia's infant mortality rate is still very high, an average of 300 deaths per 100,000 live births.

The campaign will start with free health consultations at Siloam Gleneagles Hospital in Karawaci, Tangerang, and talks on various health issues such as on family planning and the reproductive system.

On the same day, an open clinic that is also free to the public will also take place at the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Central Jakarta from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Along with the open health services, a seminar on "Saving Women's Lives" at the Hilton Hotel will feature Minister of Women's Empowerment Khofifah Indar Parawansa, woman activist Rita Serena Kalibonso and health expert Gulardi H. Wiknjosastro.

From Saturday to Nov. 11, there will be a media campaign on Healthy Indonesia which will include interviews and talk shows on television and over 100 radio stations as well as print media reports on women's issues.

The coalition was established in July 1998 and comprises individuals and independent institutions. (edt)