News Release

Partnership makes a difference in Indonesia 

Pediatricians in West Sumatra, Indonesia  and Logan Utah have a common goal...reduce infant mortality. Through a partnership with LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Perkumpulan Perinatologi Indonesia (PERINASIA) an organization of neonatologists, obstetricians and pediatricians; that goal is becoming a reality. Since 1997 these two groups have partnered to bring better care to newborns through initiatives such as "Helping Babies Breathe".  On January 16, pediatricians living near Padang, Indonesia were trained in the "HBB" technique. The goal of this important training was to train 30 Pediatricians how to teach midwives working in Puskesman (small medical facilities) the skills needed to help an infant take that first breath of life.

These physicians will now conduct training for midwives that assist in births in the remote areas of Sumatra where medical facilities are sometimes not available. This model has been repeated several times in Indonesia and the mortality rate has dropped from 40/1000 in 2008, to near 25/1000 today.

Dr. Michael K. Visick, a Pediatrician from Logan, Utah USA was the Medical Director for the event. Dr. Visick has a full time medical practice in Utah, yet volunteers his time to travel where his skills are needed to facilitate the workshops. Dr. Visick shared his team's passion for the project to train midwives. "We come here to teach 30 doctors how to train midwives in neonatal resuscitation.  After we leave, they are onsite training others. We have been blessed to be part of something that has made a tremendous difference. Though we are doing training that impacts just a few people at a time; it will, in turn, increase in capacity and impact many people. There will be progress in Indonesia even though I am not here." Becky Wayman, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse from McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah assisted the event. "This training will be shared with hundreds of midwives who attend to mothers and infants West Sumatra".

 Dr. Mayetti, a pediatrician with PERINASIA. stated that in West Sumatra over 40% of births are attended by midwives. Many have limited training and few resources. Through the partnership with LDS Charities "we are able to build confidence in the care giver and provide them resources that will save many infants who would often die".

When asked about the number of births that take place in the villages, Dr. Chaudrayetti , a participant, expressed, "thousands of births occur in the villages each year. More than 30 out of 1000 babies will die because of no prenatal care, premature birth, anemia or sanitary issues. Education of our midwives is a key to making a change in this country".

Each participant received a training kit containing a life-like simulator, Neo-Natalie, with attachments and materials to assist in training the midwives. Dr. Wirastari Marnoto , Neonatologist, said, "we hope to use the skills learned here  and take the training to remote areas."

 In his opening remarks, Dr. Visick expressed  "appreciation to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others for their generous donations to the Humanitarian efforts of the Church. This "Helping Babies Breathe" program is supported by people who want to see the survival rate increase in Indonesia". 

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