Indonesia: Celebrating the opening of a women's health and resource center

News and Press Release
Originally published
On December 23, 2002 community leaders and local Madurese celebrated IMC's accomplishments in the region with the opening of a new Women's Health and Resource Center (WHRC). The event was featured in one of east Java's most prominent newspapers, the Jawa Pos, and was attended by several local officials from the Sampang district, including the governor of Sampang and representatives from the Ministry of Health. Dr. H. Firman Pria Abadi of the Ministry of Health lauded IMC's efforts in Madura, noting that the women's health center has made a significant impact in helping to reduce maternal mortality in the region. Dr. Abadi added, "By providing health services for displaced communities, IMC brings meaning and something beneficial to the people."
IMC Madura Field Manager San Ng presented a plaque of appreciation to each local partner and community leader and thanked the representatives for their ongoing participation and support. "Cooperation and support from the people in the community helps our work out here. They are the reason for the success of the program thus far," said Ng. Through training and organizational support, the IMC Madura team empowers local counterparts to effectively and efficiently implement women's health services within the community. Ng's opening remarks at the ceremony emphasized ownership of the WHRC: "Although IMC initiated these services for you, our request is for your continued support of this project as your own. This is your WHRC."

IMC has been providing essential women's health services to displaced and resident communities of Madura since February 2001. Targeting displaced Madurese who have fled from ethnic violence in Central Kalimantan, IMC offers safe motherhood services (prenatal, delivery and postnatal care), counseling for survivors of sexual violence and management and treatment of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.

IMC partners with local Madurese health providers to offer women's health services in the Sampang district. Currently, the programs extend out to serve 16 sub-villages within the district. IMC's WHRC houses a medical clinic, a counseling and referral center, a resource library, a meeting room for community activities, an ambulance, and a mobile clinic. Overall, the Center offers comprehensive, easily accessible, personable and free services to displaced and resident families and other vulnerable groups including survivors of sexual violence. Specific services include primary and gynecological care for women, as well as counseling on issues related to health and well-being. The Center's resource library provides access to information on women's health issues, while the meeting space is available for training activities, forums for support groups, open meetings and exhibitions. Field Manager San Ng noted that the WHRC goes beyond increasing access to women health services in Sampang and provides linkages to local groups with community resources through monthly forums and meetings. The Center serves as a nexus of health care in the Sampang District, where community health workers, midwives, traditional birth attendants and local volunteers are afforded the opportunity to connect and collaborate with representatives from the Ministry of Health and other international agencies.