Government focuses on lowering infant mortality rate

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is focusing on lowering infant mortality rate to maintain total fertility rate (TFR) aimed at extending the so-called demographic bonus.

"In essence, how we can maintain an ideal total fertility rate. If it shows a downward trend, we will first focus on lowering infant mortality rate," Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro, who is also Chief of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) said in a national seminar marking the World Population Day 2017 here on Monday.

The demographic bonus, which means the number of productive-aged people outstrips the number of elderly people and children is expected to occur between 2025 and 2035.

Bambang said the governments strategy of maintaining an ideal TFR is to keep refreshment rate at 100 percent, meaning that the birth rate and death rate are relatively equal to one.

"So, the key is that we must improve the health sector. By doing so, the infant and maternal mortality rates can be curbed further," he said.

Indonesia successfully kept down infant mortality rate to 22.3 percent in 2015 from 24.2 percent a year earlier, he said.

One of the indicators that the country must improve is infant and maternal mortality rates, he said.

Therefore, to keep an ideal TFR, the government must encourage family planning program and improve health problems particularly mortality rate, he said.

According to the governments calculation, if the TFR rate can be kept at 2.1, the demographic bonus will last longer, he said.

"We want the demographic bonus, which according to an initial calculation will occur in 2030 can be extended because it will greatly benefit us," he said.(*)