10 Jul 2015

In Maternal health, Papua continues to trail Indonesia

1:19 pm on 10 July 2015

The United Nations Population Fund says maternal health in Papua continues to lag behind the rest of Indonesia.

Jayapura, Papua

Jayapura, Papua Photo: Supplied

According to its statistics, 16 percent of women in Papua begin childbearing between the ages of 15 - 19, twice as high as the national figure.

It says health providers in Papua are not trained to deal with adolescent reproductive health issues, and hospitals and community health centers are generally unable to provide youth-friendly services.

The Jakarta Post says the UNFPA this week launched a pilot initiative called "Men Care Papua", which aims to engage males with sexual and reproductive health issues and on the prevention of gender-based violence in Jayapura.

According to the National Socio Economic Survey on Violence against Women and Children in 2006, Papua had the highest prevalence of violence against women and children in Indonesia.

UNFPA says family planning is also not common practice in Papua, with only 24.5% of people using contraception.

UNFPA Indonesia representative Jose Ferraris says these statistics indicate pervasive gender inequality, which led to Papua being selected as the pilot location for the new male engagement initiative.