Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH)
Darmika and Ayu was assigned by Kang Guru to go to Kupang to take a close look at the activities of one of the AusAID programs in Kupang - the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH). It was a very interesting trip for both of them because they met lots of people including doctors, nurses and some local people who were benefited from the program.
Darmika and Ayu was assigned by Kang Guru to go to Kupang to take a close look at the activities of one of the AusAID programs in Kupang: Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH). It was a very interesting trip for both of them because they met lots of people including doctors, nurses and some local people who were benefited from the program. Here is Ayu's full story.
When Kevin assigned me to go to Kupang with Darmika, we were both excited since this was our first visit. The weather was piping hot when we arrived at the El Tari Airport. The first thing we did after we checked in into the hotel was meeting with Dr John McComb, the Project Director of AIPMNH, at his office in Dinas Kesehatan Propinsi. To our surprised Dr John speaks very good Bahasa, he said he used to live in Sulawesi for awhile. When we arrived, John and the team had prepared a detailed timetable for us so we knew what to do and who to meet during our visit.
We started our first interview that day with John himself and a couple of alumnus (Dr.Henyo and Drg. Maria) and other people involved in the program.
To get a clear idea about the AusAid's AIPMNH, here are a few words from John:
I'm John, I'm the partnership director for the Maternal and Neonatal . I've been woking in Kupang since January 2009 and it is now 2010. It's an interesting program not a project. We are part of AusAid partnership programs where we work in partnership with local government particularly with the Health Department, the Provincial and District Health Department and with the Woman's Empowerment Program, Community Development Program, Family Planning Program and the Provincial and District Planning Board (BAPPEDA).
John then took us to the Governor's office to meet other AIPMNH team; John Strain and Ibu Leya .We completed the whole interview for that day and finished at 5.30 pm. On the way back to the hotel we decided to try the Kupang ' bemo'. We heard that taking a bemo around the town is a 'must to do' thing while you are in Kupang and so we did. Going by bemo was quite an experience. Being in a bemo is more like being in a night club. The bemo was decorated in such a way with music loud enough to make your heart pumping. People had to shout to the driver to stop - that was a good experience for both of us!
On the second day we left very early ,at 6 am. We went to Soe to visit some hospitals and meet some doctors from the sister hospital. Soe is about 100 km from Kupang or about 3 hour drive by car. Although it was such a long trip, Darmika and I really enjoyed the journey. There was breathtaking view along the way. We stopped a few times on the way to take pictures of the East Timorese refugees' settlement area , bought some salt the refugees sold along the street, tried some local corn and local food of course.
We arrived in Soe at about 8.45. And we went to meet Pak Oni who was in charge of AIPMNH in Soe. The AIPMNH office in Soe is located in BAPPEDA . Pak Oni then took us to meet the head of BAPPEDA and went straight to RSUD, a local Hospital. In the hospital we interviewed one of the doctors from the sister school hospital in East Java (Dr. Soetomo Hospital). Dr. Dewi who was placed in Kupang since August this year said it's her first experience doing a practice outside Surabaya and she thought this was a very good program.
Sister Hospitals – how did they start?
The sister hospital program began after the Provincial Government and AIPMNH found that there was a big shortage of specialists particularly obstetrician and pediatrician, in hospitals in NTT. So the Provincial Government suggested to try and find some team of doctors from other parts of Indonesia to come and work as specialist team within the hospitals in NTT, as a result the Provincial Health office, Gajah Mada University and the AIPMNH program set up a program where they found sister hospitals in other parts of Indonesia who could send team of 5 or 6 people to come and work within the hospital in the district but also at the same time the local government (PEMDA) would establish scholarship for training local doctors from NTT to go to these hospitals in Indonesia for specialist training so the long term sustainability of the program can be developed. The idea was once the contract of hospital team finishes the specialist can come back to work in their own hospitals.
To our surprised, pak Oni seemed to know every single person in the Hospital, not only the doctors and nurses but all the patients and their family as well! And he asked me to meet one of the patients whose wife just had a cesarean.
Before the 'Sister Hospital' was established, a patient who had to undergo cesarean had to be transferred to Kupang Hospital which is 100 km away from Soe.
" Saya sangat berterimakasih karena dengan adanya program pemerintah yang mendatangkan dokter-dokter Ahli Rumah Sakit Soetomo. Dulu karena tidak ada dokter ahli di Soe kita harus dirujuk ke Kupang atau tempat lain di Jawa. Sekarang sudah ada tenaga ahli di Soe jadi lebih baik". Srikusole
" I feel grateful with the government program that invites specialists from Dr Soetomo Hospital to work here. Before we patients were transferred either to Kupang hospitals or other place in java. Now there are some specialist in Soe-that's very good". Srikusole
On the way back to Kupang we visited a Health Clinic (PUSKESMAS) in a Batuputih village. Unfortunately when we got there, the PUSKESMAS was already closed. But lucky we met a midwife who just live next to the clinic. So she showed us around the clinic and explained about the program there.
On Saturday we started at 8.30. Pak Nugroho and Quin took us to RSUD Prof. Dr. W.Z.Johannes in Kupang to meet some doctors and nurses from the district who took part in the training program in the hospital. They took us to the maternity ward where we could see the real action of the doctors and the trainees.
Our last destination before heading to the airport was to visit the POSYANDU, mother and children's clinic which was located not too far from the hospital. When we arrived in the location, there were some groups of mothers doing pregnancy training. They were having a group discussion about pregnancy and maternal and neonatal health. I spoke to some mothers after the training, they said they were really happy and satisfied about the training and they found the training very useful. It doesn't only give them new knowledge but also helps them to stay healthy during and after the pregnancy.
Kupang has a very high maternal mortality rate, hopefully with the AIPMNH working hand in hand with local government; the mortality rate can be prevented and reduced. As the program moves along more women in NTT are encouraged to use health facilities / midwife for giving birth and mothers and babies' health can be improved before and after birth.