Saving Mothers, Saving Lives
By Suzanna Dayne
Basic care is essential
Maria, a 22-year-old woman under Solikha’s care, is expecting her first child. Early on, a routine blood test revealed that she was anaemic and lacked adequate iron in her blood. This condition can lead to severe bleeding during delivery and even the death of both mother and newborn.
NTT has one of the highest infant mortality rates of any Indonesian region, mainly due to poor nutrition and lack of access to skilled health workers.
Solikha counseled the young woman about her nutrition and diet during pregnancy and provided her with iron supplements, preventing what could have become a dangerous situation for Maria and her baby. Basic care like this is essential for all pregnant women, yet many traditional birth attendants are unable to provide it.Basic care like this is essential for all pregnant women, yet many traditional birth attendants are unable to provide it. Like many other midwives in Indonesia, Solikha not only works at government and private health clinics but also runs a birth centre in her own home. She has dedicated four rooms in her house for women to deliver and recuperate.
Each new baby a miracle
Cely, a first-time mother-to-be, went into labour quickly but managed to get to Solikha’s home just in time. “I had to rush from my practice at the local health centre,” said Solikha. “This happens quite a lot. But I have been delivering babies for more than 25 years and I am used to it by now.
Basic care like this is essential for all pregnant women, yet many traditional birth attendants are unable to provide it.
“Each time I help bring a new baby into the world I realize what a miracle it is, and how special that day is for each and every mother,” she added.
With Solikha’s help, Cely’s delivery went smoothly. Her miracle was a healthy baby boy – all six pounds, eight ounces.