Death rate for babies in developing countries is still high, especially in the phase of neonatal, which is when a baby is less than a month old. Every year, around 10 million children under five year old die and around 37% of them are in the phase of neonatal.
In 2000 to 2003, WHO estimated that mostly, child deaths are caused by pneumonia (19%), diarrhea (17%), and malaria (8%). Meanwhile, the other 4 million neonatal deaths are caused by respiratory illness (23%), genetic disorder (7%), and infection (36%), and the rest is from malnutrition.
Some of the ways to press down the risk is by increasing mothersâ€™ health, making sure that the birth-giving process is safe, and newborn baby care. In remote areas where it is difficult to access health facilities, the laboring process is still done in homes, where safety violations often happen. In such case, â€œthe existence of midwives is of crucial need,â€ said Ranjan Sharestha, a teacher from University of Montana, Thursday (13/8).
In a seminar called â€œRural Midwives Program and Neonatal Death in Indonesiaâ€, Ranjan said that the help of rural midwives is much more effective than that of traditional medicine woman. They also help minimize the occurring infection of tetanus on babies, because they use sterile tools during the laboring process.
The participation of these midwives can give a positive post-natal effects, by helping with health care, vaccination, and giving information on the nutrition that should be given to babies.
(Public Relations of UGM/Ika)