The use of ultrasonography starts today.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is in the process of delivering ultrasonography devices to all public health centers (Puskesmas) in Indonesia to improve early detection of maternal deaths during labor and prevent stunting.

"The use of ultrasonography machines starts today. We will deliver them to 447 Puskesmas this year," Vice Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono noted.

"Next year, we hope to be able to send 4,180 devices to Puskesmas," he remarked during a press conference to commemorate Mother's Day 2021 as participated from the Ministry's YouTube channel here on Thursday.

The result of a population survey in 2015 reported that 308 mothers died per 100 thousand toddlers born out of five million pregnancies in Indonesia, he highlighted.

Related news: Maternal mortality rate still high: Health minister

Meanwhile, the National Mid-term Development Plan (RPJMN) mandated that the figures should be reduced to 185 per 100 thousand births by 2024, he added.

"Our aggressive target is around 70 deaths per 100 thousand births. Of course, mothers' health before they are pregnant should be monitored, so that they are healthy when they are pregnant," he affirmed.

The ministry's analysis result indicates that 74 percent of deaths among pregnant mothers occurred in hospitals due to the slow referral process and non-optimal early detection.

Meanwhile, the number of cases of stunting in Indonesia is still around 28 percent out of the total child population that should be brought down to 14 percent by 2024.

"Stunting should be identified early during pregnancy," Harbuwono emphasized.

The vice minister expects that the presence of ultrasonography or USG devices at Puskesmas would help to detect stunting cases in pregnant mothers early, so that it could be prevented by providing balanced nutrition for the fetus.

The ultrasonography devices that will be distributed are portable and expected to be delivered to various remote regions in need of them, he stated.

Related news: Stunting involves maternal, infant mortality: BKKBN

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Suharto
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