Local health centre in Lamcot provides 24-hour service for the community
By Anna K. Stechert
LAMCOT, Indonesia, 21 April 2008 – It was 10 p.m. on a Friday when Rosmalida realized her baby was about to be born. Thankfully, professional help was only a few metres away at the new community-based integrated health centre in Lamcot.
The centre includes a residence for a midwife, so essential services are always easily accessible. The midwife in Lamcot, Ibu Yanti, is currently available to provide 24-hour antenatal care for 22 pregnant women in the community.
“It is such a blessing for all of us to have the centre because we can get support immediately, even during the night,” said Rosmalida.
Providing vital services
Two hours after Rosmalida arrived, Ms. Yanti delivered a healthy baby boy. It was the second child born at the new centre.
The centre comes complete with a specially designed delivery bed and all the equipment needed to serve the community. More complicated cases are referred to the district hospital.
“I feel very comfortable working here,” said Ms. Yanti.
During UNICEF-supported training, Ms. Yanti also learned how to conduct regular meetings to inform the families in her village about health issues such as exclusive breastfeeding, protection from malaria and the importance of routine immunization.
A committed community
During past years of conflict, Lamcot village was cut off from social services. Midwives and doctors refused to come to the area due to ongoing violence.
“We had to go to the district health centre, which was very far away, and finding someone with a car is not easy,” said Rosmalida’s husband Shafira. “It was also very dangerous to travel during those times.”
Today, the community has taken on the centre as their own, and is committed to keep it going and maintained. They have even built a fence to keep local goats from roaming onto the grounds.
UNICEF is planning to build a total of 160 integrated community-based health centres throughout Aceh and Nias to provide women like Rosmalida with local access to vital health services for themselves and their children.