Indigenous Papuan women have the worst maternal health outcomes in Indonesia. They live in rural areas, have epidemic levels of HIV and syphilis and often experience trauma and discrimination when they seek medical care. The Bumi Sehat clinic offers Indigenous-staffed and run maternal health services for women in the Sentani district of Papua. We promote a culturally sensitive approach to healthcare delivery and maternal health services for Indigenous women.
Indigenous Papuan women have the worst maternal health outcomes in Indonesia. They often live in rural or inaccessible areas, have epidemic levels of HIV and syphilis and can experience trauma and discrimination when they seek medical care. Indigenous women often have negative experiences during their first pregnancy and birth and avoid medical care for subsequent pregnancies. They rely instead on family members or unskilled birth attendants for assistance, with poor birth and health outcomes.
Indigenous-run health projects are vital to promote a culturally sensitive approach to maternal health services for Indigenous Papuan women, honouring their cultural traditions, both open and hidden. As local mothers come to trust and feel safe with Indigenous midwives at Bumi Sehat's Angel Hiromi Clinic, they are more likely to have second and subsequent pregnancies under the care of skilled midwives, instead of with family or untrained birth attendants, improving birth and health outcomes.
Indigenous Papuan women feel more comfortable and safer receiving care from other Indigenous women who acknowledge and respect their cultural traditions. As they come to trust Angel Hiromi Clinic and its health providers, then maternal health and newborn outcomes in the local area will improve as high risk mothers receive skilled maternal care before, during and after childbirth. The Indigenous-run clinic model can be duplicated across the island to serve other Indigenous mothers in other areas.