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Indonesia: Government Campaigns for Women, Children Health
Source: thejakartapost.com
Source Date: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Country: Indonesia
Created: Nov 13, 2012

As the nation celebrates the 48th National Health Day on Nov. 18, the government will use the occasion to promote the health of women and children across the country.

Bearing a slogan “Indonesia Loves Health: Safe Mothers, Healthy Children”, the celebration will include activities on how good health throughout life’s circle can help mothers experience safe motherhood and give birth to healthy children.

The Health Ministry’s director general for nutrition and infant and maternal health Slamet Riyadi Yuwono said on Thursday that the government would use the celebration to strengthen partnerships with its stakeholders including the private sector, non-government organizations and civil societies to speed up progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“With only three years until the 2015 deadline, improvements in children’s and mothers’ health are unlikely unless we do something really serious,” he told a press briefing on Thursday afternoon.

Indonesia is to reduce maternal mortality from 228 per 100,000 births in 2007 to 102 by 2015. Infant mortality is projected to decline from 34 per 1,000 live births to 23.

“We also hope that the number of malnourished children under five years can be reduced to below 15 percent from the current 18 percent. Without hard work, we are unlikely to reach the 2015’s targets,” said Slamet.

World Vision Indonesia is one of civil groups working on mobilizing resources in support of the efforts of the Health Ministry to hold the 48th National Health Day celebration.

World Vision Indonesia’s campaign director Asteria Aritonang said that her organization is giving its support not only for the National Health Day celebration but also for the Global Week of Action for Child Health which will take place simultaneously in 60 countries throughout the world from Nov. 13 to 20.

“In 2011, we had significant progress in reducing infant mortality as the number of children who died before their fifth birthday globally has reduced to 6.9 million per year from 12 million in 1990. But with more concerted efforts, we could have achieved even more,” said Asteria.

With quite high income per capita of US$3,000 per year, Indonesia still has a very high number of children who die before their fifth birthday. Every year 134,000 children under five years die through various preventable health issues.
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