In 1989, the government of Indonesia launched the Midwife in the Village programme. Its purpose was to reduce maternal death by assigning a resident midwife to each village in the country. By definition, she would live in the village and be part of the community she served. By 1996, 54,000 midwives had been trained and deployed and virtually all villages had their own assigned midwife. Skilled attendance at delivery rose in rural areas. But it is unclear whether the substantial resources invested resulted in fewer maternal deaths. In 2005, Immpact, a global research initiative, examined the effect of the programme on the health and survival of mothers in two districts in Java.
Immpact sought to answer two questions: Did posting midwives in villages improve maternal health and survival and if so, how? To answer these questions, Immpact examined the overall coverage, configuration, and quality of midwifery care; when and which services women and families used; and the nature of the barriers that prevented women and families from seeking care.
Indonesia. Resident midwives help avert maternal deaths when financial barriers are removed, Immpact, University of Aberdeen, UK, 2 pp.