Jakarta (ANTARA) - Delayed access to health facilities is the reason behind the high maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Indonesia, head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, has said.

“Let us prevent (maternal) mortality by improving the referral system," he remarked in a written statement issued by the BKKBN, which ANTARA received here on Friday.

Based on the 2015 Inter-Census Population Survey (SUPAS), Indonesia still has a high maternal mortality rate of 305 per 100 thousand live births, he noted.

He highlighted that delayed access to healthcare occurs because many people, especially families, are hesitant to take mothers to the hospital quickly.

In fact, maternal deaths can be prevented if patients are referred quickly, Wardoyo said. In addition to delayed treatment, hypertensive disorders can lead to mothers developing preeclampsia or eclampsia, he added.

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Furthermore, bleeding and complications, both obstetric and non-obstetric, as well as infections are also contributing to higher maternal mortality, he noted.

Given the factors that can increase maternal mortality, the BKKBN head emphasized, midwives have a huge role not only as care providers but also as decision-makers and in assisting families.

Midwives can also build understanding in the community about the importance of referrals for pregnant women, he added.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Indonesian Midwives Association, Tuti Sukaeti, said that there are conditions that can be considered as emergencies that include life-threatening health conditions during pregnancy or during and after labor and birth.

There are many diseases and disorders that can develop during pregnancy and threaten the mother and baby, she said. Obstetric cases, if not treated immediately, can result in the death of the mother and fetus, she expounded.

“Those are the main causes of maternal and newborn deaths. Then, (there are) basic emergencies during pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium. For example, cardiac and respiratory arrest, shock, convulsions, fainting, and shortness of breath,” she informed.
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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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