This article assesses the impact of the monetary crisis and natural disasters on women's health and nutrition in Indonesia as described by Dr. Meiwita Iskandar. Since there is a deficit in funding, the author claims, it is likely that hospitals will refuse operations. This will increase the risk of maternal death due to the inaccessibility of obstetric care facilities. As the cost of medicinesincluding oral contraceptiveshas doubled, more women are expected to patronize traditional healers and medicines, as these will be cheaper. Furthermore, an increase in food prices will severely affect the health and nutrition of low-income women and girls. As a result of the crisis, young women will be married off and even forced into prostitution in order to earn money for the family. Thus, the author urges the Ministry of Health and other government ministries to take action in planning interventions in anticipation of these health impacts. There is a need for them to create public health programs, health care services, subsidies for food and medicines, and job creation strategies. The rights of women workers need to be better protected by the law, and the private sector must be encouraged to help provide affordable food and basic health services.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Arrows for change|
|Publication status||Published - May 1998|