Study on Empowerment and Pregnancy Examination in Five ASEAN Countries

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – There are still great challenges for developing countries in the field of health and research teams in the health sector from each country conduct researches to face them. One of the challenges is on reproductive, children, mother, and newborn health.

In this case, ASEAN has six countries joining the Countdown until 2015. But unfortunately, only two of these six countries are able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4, the reduction in child mortality by Cambodia and Indonesia, and MDG 5, the reduction in maternal mortality by Cambodia and Laos.

Susy Katikana Sebayang S.P., M.Sc., Ph.D, one of the FKM UNAIR PSDKU lecturers in Banyuwangi with Ferry Efendi S.Kep.Ns., M.Sc., PhD., and Erni Astutik SKM, M.Epid. from Universitas Airlangga examined the relationship between empowering women and pregnant women (Antenatal Care / ANC) examination through a study from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data.

DHS analysis in 31 countries stated that women with high empowerment status also have a higher probability of attending four or more ANC visits and having trained staff during childbirth. In the country of Cambodia, women who do not perform ANC have a six times greater potential to experience neonatal death, which is within 28 days after delivery. Even so, other countries in ASEAN have varying percentage of women who have done ANC four times, ranging from 55% to 87.8%.

Until now, Susy believes that there is only little attention given to finding evidence of the relationship between women’s empowerment and maternal and child health in ASEAN countries. In fact, women’s empowerment has been shown to have a positive relationship with indicators of maternal health and health services. Women’s empowerment must be emphasized to achieve a minimum number of ANCs.

“Mothers who are teenagers have worse access to antenatal care than adult mothers, especially teenage mothers with moderate education have a lower chance of having their pregnancy checked 4 times or more in Cambodia, while teenage mothers in the group those who have low labor participation in Myanmar have a lower chance of having their first pregnancy checked up in the first trimester, “Susy continued.

This study is expected to make the government pay more attention to the fact that this problem is not just an ordinary health problem. The lack of women’s access to health information must also be accommodated in the form of informative media, especially in Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Author: Tsania Ysnaini Mawardi

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Details of the study available at:

https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03630242.2019.1593282?journalCode=wwah20

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