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Women's Health and Community Outreach in Indonesia

This exciting project aims to improve the health of mothers and children in rural Indonesia by providing training to upgrade the skills of district and village level nurses, village midwives and traditional care workers. The maternal mortality rate for Indonesia is the highest in Asia, 420 per 100,000 compared with 6-8 per 100,000 in Canada. Infant mortality rates are even higher. A nursing workforce with professional competencies at all levels and in different health care settings is needed to decrease the infant and maternal mortality rates and improve family health and functioning.

The Government of Indonesia's National Health Development Plan has recognized that a key strategy to improving health is improving the education and qualifications of nursing, midwifery and auxiliary personnel, from doctoral and masters prepared nurses to the village health worker. Therefore, a major objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Faculty of Nursing, University of Indonesia to develop and sustain programs in community and women's health. Through the train-the-trainer programs, skills will be passed to all levels of health care worker. In line with this objective, the partners are working together to develop a clinical specialty at the masters level in Community Primary Health Care and Women's Health at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Indonesia. These nurses with advanced preparation will provide the leadership for the train-the trainer programs and for the development and implementation of demonstration projects for maternal and child health projects at two selected rural sites in West Java. The model developed will provide structures to manage, monitor and support both existing and newly-developed maternal and child health programs. As well, the model will ensure that any weaknesses in the management and support structures can be detected and modified appropriately before being used in other areas in Indonesia.

Central to the project will be the development of the expertise of both the Canadian and Indonesian partners in developing and implementing international collaborative projects and carrying out research studies which will influence health policy.

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