Self-care and the power to improve healthcare in Indonesia
By Dina Sintadewi, Ibu Hj. Adde Rosi Khoerunnisa SSos. MSi, 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-examinations and 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.