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Health Ministry pushes pregnancy planning amid high maternal mortality

Antara News - February 2, 2024

Jakarta – The Ministry of Health on Friday emphasized the importance of early pregnancy planning by couples, citing high maternal and infant mortality rates in Indonesia.

"All couples of reproductive age (between 15 and 49 years old) are expected to carry out pregnancy planning to create healthy future generations," said Nida Rahmawati, the ministry's Director of Health for Productive and Elderly Age Groups, during an online discussion on pregnancy planning.

She explained that factors such as the lack of proper pregnancy planning contribute to Indonesia's high maternal mortality ratio, which stood at 189 deaths per 100,000 live births according to the 2020-2021 long-form population census.

The infant mortality rate is also concerning at 16.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the stunting rate is reported at 21.6 percent.

For that reason, she emphasized the importance of pregnancy planning, especially among couples and workers of reproductive age.

Rahmawati identified malnutrition, unintended pregnancy, and conditions such as tuberculosis (TB), HIV, syphilis, malaria, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity as common issues faced by many mothers.

Lack of physical activity and unhealthy diets can worsen their condition, she added.

Furthermore, many women still marry young, get pregnant later in life (above 35 years old), have several children (more than two), and experience short inter-pregnancy intervals (less than two years).

In this regard, she emphasized the importance of couples using contraceptives after the birth of their first child.

"Improving the health of mothers and children requires comprehensive efforts across all life cycles," she said.

She added that health interventions must target not only pregnant women and children, but also prospective married couples and female workers of reproductive age.

Source: https://en.antaranews.com/news/304800/health-ministry-pushes-pregnancy-planning-amid-high-maternal-mortalit