Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Mother and child deaths well above UN levels
Teenage mothers in rural areas most at riskMidwife Oktovina Reba Bonay
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- November 14, 2012
â€śOur country is very huge, and the number of mothers giving birth is high,â€ť Mboi said during a speech to mark the 48th annual National Health Day.
â€śThe bleeding and infection often occur with young mothers aged 15 to 16 years, and these usually happen in remote areas where residentsâ€™ homes are located pretty far from clinics.â€ť
Mboi said national maternal and infant mortality rates remain well above the levels outlined by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
â€śThe government must work hard to meet the target as stated in the MDGs. By the end of 2015, the maternal and infant mortality rates must be 102 per 100,000 live births and 24 per 1,000 live births, respectively,â€ť Mboi said.
Maternal mortality rates stand at 228 per 100,000 live births, while infant mortality is 34 per 1,000 live births, according to official data from 2007.
The Health Ministry has made some progress in improving neo-natal and post-birth healthcare, as well as emergency care.
A â€śbirth insuranceâ€ť program implemented last year has provided financial assistance to mothers without insurance coverage. About 2.5 million mothers have benefited from the program as of this year, according to the Health Ministryâ€™s website.
The government has also partnered with international NGOs to improve the quality of rural healthcare in provinces at higher risk of maternal and infant mortality.
Papua province has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates. In 2007, the maternal and infant mortality rates were 362 per 100,000 per live births and 41 per 1,000 per live births respectively.
However, the lack of clinics and emergency services in large areas of the country remains a chronic problem.
â€śThe distance between villagersâ€™ homes and hospitals or clinics is too far,â€ť said Oktovina Reba Bonay, a midwife and well-known advocate for improved maternal care.
â€śThey must walk for kilometers to get to hospitals or clinics, so they have no choice but to give birth at home.â€ť
Awards honor midwife and school leader