In 1990 approximately 395,000 Indonesian children did not live to see their fifth birthday. In 2015 this number has been reduced to 147,000 children. Although this is a positive development, there is no time for complacency as there are still about 147,000 Indonesian children that will not live to celebrate their fifth birthday. UNICEF Representative Gunilla Olsson said this figure is unacceptable and needs to be reduced further as soon as possible. Issues that need to be addressed to further reduce Indonesia’s child mortality rate include complications brought on by premature births, asphyxia, and severe infections. To combat such matters Indonesia requires medical services that are available day and night all across Indonesia.

In the report UNICEF cited several reasons that managed to curtail Indonesia’s child mortality rate. Firstly, it is the result of sustained action by the Indonesian government. Since Suharto’s New Order regime (1966-1998), the various governments have kept their eyes open for this issue and scaled up coverage of key interventions. The falling child mortality rate was also the result of the implementation of cost-effective solutions, such as the expanding coverage of immunization, exclusive breastfeeding and the quick diagnosis as well as treatment of various common childhood illnesses. Lastly, in the early 1990s (up to 1996) and starting again from the mid-2000s, Indonesia has been experiencing robust economic growth. Due to economic growth many Indonesians managed to climb out of the ranks of poverty.

Further Reading:

Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed (Progress Report 2015)