Self-care and the power to improve healthcare in Indonesia

Jan 29, 2020 | Indonesia, News

By Dina Sintadewi, Ibu Hj. Adde Rosi Khoerunnisa SSosMSi, Chairman of PPI Banten Province, and Dr. Ir Giwo Rubianto Wiyogo, MPd, Chairperson of Pita Putih Indonesia (PPI)

In commemoration of Indonesian Mother’s Day  (every year in December 22nd), on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, Pita Putih Indonesia (PPI)/White Ribbon Alliance Indonesia and PPI Banten Province, in collaboration with Bayer Consumer Health and Bayer Indonesia, celebrated the start of a new era in community healthcare by introducing a new self-care program in Serang, Banten Province. 

What is self-care?

Self-Care, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the ability of individuals, families and communities to improve health, prevent disease, maintain health, and overcome illness and disability with or without the support of health care providers.” Most of us practice self-care every day, for example by eating healthy food, exercising or making sure we get enough sleep. Sometimes these actions are not enough to protect us and additional support from health professionals is needed. Everyone without exception must play a role in maintaining personal health, preventing disease and promoting the health status of themselves and their families.

Self-care is also having the knowledge and confidence to advocate for your own health and organize with others to make larger change to health systems. Self-care socialization is expected to be able to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates, especially in Banten, Indonesia, and will improve reproductive health outcomes by encouraging specific actions like breast self-examinationand creating a healthy and balanced food menu for women and their families. And as the community’s knowledge and confidence around their health grows, they’ll be more inclined to advocate for themselves and others.  

Self-care and the power to change community healthcare
Since 2000, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Indonesia has been declining, with 177 deaths per 100,000 births as of 2017. This figure is down 35%  compared to 2000, when there were 272 deaths per 100,000 births. Although the rates are declining, Indonesia still has the second highest mortality rate in Asia and has not yet reached the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) target of reducing maternal deaths to 110 per 100,000 births.

The new self-care program in Indonesia will focus on the promotion and prevention of anemia in adolescents and pregnant women. Community nutrition problems, especially in adolescents, are a major cause of anemia during pregnancy, which can result in low birth weight babies and an increase in maternal mortality rates.

With the introduction of self-care by Pita Putih Indonesia, it is hoped that public awareness on maternal nutrition and the importance of antenatal care  will spread not only in Banten but also across all of Indonesia. By empowering individuals to transform their everyday health and the health of those they love, self-care practices will help Indonesia’s healthcare system become more sustainable while saving the lives of countless women and girls. 

Participants register to learn about self-care practices at the PPI/Bayer event in Banten, Indonesia.


Kindergarten children distribute flowers to show love to mothers.


Demonstration of self-care pregnancy exercises (demonstration led by Youth PPI Banten Province chapter).


Chairperson of PPI Ibu Giwo presents a scarf to represent the strengthening of Banten Provincial Government’s commitment in reducing maternal mortality.


The Vice Governor of Banten Province beat a gong to mark the official opening of the PPI/Bayer self-care event. 


The self-care event was attended by over 500 people from the local community and presided over by dignitaries including: Mr. Andika Hazrumy, the Vice Governor of the Banten Province; Ibu Hj. Adde Rosi Khoerunnisa SSos. MSi, the Chairperson of PPI Banten Province; Dr. Ir Giwo Rubianto Wiyogo, MPd, Chairperson of PPI; Mr. Kinshuk Kunwar, the Director of PT. Bayer Indonesia; representatives from 58 members of the Women’s Organization Cooperation Agency (BKOW) Banten Province; the Chairperson, Board and Members of the Indonesian Midwives Association of Banten Province; the Chairperson of POGI (Association of Indonesian Obstetrics and Gynecology) Banten Province, along with board & members; midwifery students studying in Banten Province; along with members of PPI’s National Board, and members of the PPI Banten Province Board and members.