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New US ambassador visits USAID-UNICEF supported midwifery academy

JAYAPURA, 6 October, 2010 — US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel on Wednesday visited Papua’s main midwifery academy at the Jayapura Health Polytechnic and met students at the USAID and UNICEF-supported program. Students are training to improve maternal health in Indonesia’s easternmost province.

On his first field trip in eastern Indonesia since arriving in the vast archipelago in August, the Ambassador discussed innovative ways to integrate antenatal care with malaria treatment and prevention, which have been funded by USAID since 2006.

Malaria poses a major public health challenge in Tanah Papua. Pregnant mothers and their unborn children face particular risks from malaria as it can cause maternal anaemia, placental infection, low infant birth weight, premature birth, miscarriage, still births and death.

Few midwives in Papua know how to treat pregnant women suffering from malaria. The Midwifery Academy provides a key role in improving its graduates’ capacity to recognize and manage malaria cases in pregnant women so that infant morbidity and mortality rates as well as the maternal mortality rate will decrease.

Most of the students hail from Tanah Papua and graduates will return to their hometowns to serve residents there, especially pregnant women and their babies. Services include malaria screening for pregnant women using rapid diagnostic blood testing and distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets.

In 2006, UNICEF and USAID embarked on a training program to provide midwives for each district, investing over US$ 4 million in the initiative over the last four years.

For more information, please contact: Roman Woronowycz, USAID Outreach and Communications, at tel. no. 6221-3435-9424 or email rworonowycz@usaid.gov or UNICEF Indonesia, Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Indonesia at ecarwardine@unicef.org, + 62 812 123 7252 or Lely Djuhari ldjuhari@unicef.org, + 62 21 2996 8141, + 62 811 802 338.

 

 

 

 

 

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