Indonesia Launches Public-Private Partnership to Improve Maternal Health
In Indonesia's Gowa district, the government launched its first public-private partnerships (PPPs) to support a maternity waiting home in South Sulawesi. The move is a pilot of a new regulation by the country's Ministry of Health on non-infrastructure PPPs for health. Private company, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk., along with a national nongovernmental organization, Yayasan Dompet Dhuafa Republika, and two local organizations, Jas Publik Gowa and South Sulawesi Social Welfare CSR Forum, pooled resources to support the home. The partnership was facilitated by the Gowa district government and the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) project.
The partnership is aimed to help Gowa district address high rates of maternal deaths. Given the geographical challenges in the district, pregnant mothers—especially those living in remote areas—have trouble accessing health facilities. The consequences can be dire. Maternity homes offer a safe facility for pregnant mothers with high-risk deliveries to live up until it is time to go to the nearby hospital in the district's capital just before their due date. There, expectant mothers can get the care they need with better chances of a safe delivery.
Initially, the Gowa district home will focus on pregnant mothers from the villages of Tonasa and Bolaromang—which lie in a mountainous area that is almost 100 kilometers from the district capital. The status of clients will be monitored jointly by staff from the Gowa district health office and Jas Publik Gowa, one of the PPP partners. The home will also serve as a place where mothers can learn about the importance of nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, and healthy behaviors postpartum.
At the launch of the PPP, the head of Gowa District Health Office, Dr. H. Hasanuddin, called the pilot project "evidence of local government commitment and collaboration between public and private sectors to address our high maternal deaths." He added that the Gowa government is committed to match the effort of the private sector through "a relentless commitment to tackle the issue of maternal mortality beyond this project."
Speaking ahead of the event, USAID/Indonesia's Deputy Director of Health, Daryl Martyris, reflected that these types of initiatives are proof that collaboration between the two sectors is a good way to address local problems with local solutions. The PPP, the Gowa district government, and USAID are hopeful that the maternity home in Gowa will serve as a model for other districts in South Sulawesi for how to engage the private sector in improving maternal health.