JSI Health Services Program helps mother-to-be in Indonesia

While pregnant with her first child, Ibu Dewi began to feel uneasy. She realized she was going into labor. As the contractions grew stronger, her husband grew more anxious. Although she had planned to deliver at home, it was clear that the delivery was not going smoothly. Ibu Dewi needed immediate help.

Her husband's presence of mind in knowing where to go for help ensured a safe delivery for Ibu Dewi and their new baby daughter.

Ibu Dewi was growing weaker, with the contractions becoming more frequent. Unfortunately, she is from one of the poorest families in the Petojo Utara neighborhood of Central Jakarta. The couple lives in a narrow alley, and the nearest clinic is 5 kms away. Given her worsening condition, it was evident that she would not be able to make it to the clinic. By this time, Ibu Dewi's water broke.

Seeing that there was not a moment to lose, Ibu Dewi's husband remembered that a local community initiative called Desa Siap Antar Jaga (Desa SiAGa) recently started to help mothers safely deliver their babies. He hurried off to find them.

When he arrived, he found a number of volunteers at the gathering place. As soon as he told them about Ibu Dewi's condition and the urgent need for transportation, they prepared one of the vehicles that had been reserved for emergency use to get her to the nearest maternity clinic in Petojo Utara.

Implemented by the JSI Health Services Program (HSP), a USAID-funded project designed to improve maternal and child health, the Desa SiAGa initiative ensures that women receive appropriate care before, during, and after delivery. This includes transportation to take them to the hospital for delivery, and providing information on the importance of breastfeeding immediately after delivery.

The Desa SiAGa initiative engages local community volunteers to talk about health issues within the community. It will ultimately be implemented in 360 villages by HSP, and then scaled up to reach many more communities throughout Indonesia by the Ministry of Health.

The ultimate goal for the Desa SiAGa initiative and HSP is that villages will be able to identify and take responsibility for handling their own health issues within the community.

With the readiness of the Desa SiAGa volunteers, Ibu Dewi was able to get to the clinic in time for an emergency Cesarean section, and her newborn daughter was delivered safely. We are pleased to report that both mother and baby are doing well.