The Yogyakarta Women’s Health Initiative is a programme of local health education and training and runs cervical cancer screening programmes in the region of Yogyakarta Province.
Yogyakarta Province is one of the poorest regions of Java and whole Indonesia and both maternal mortality (National statistics 2007: 320 deaths per 100,000 maternities) and mortality from gynaecological cancer still remain very high. Most of the patients present at very advanced stages of malignant disease and treatment at this point is often limited to palliative measures only. There is a potential to detect cervical cancer early through raised awareness, education and screening programmes. Due to a lack of patient awareness and limited antenatal care in remote areas high-risk pregnancies are often detected too late and further follow-up and management cannot be guided appropriately.
It is the objective of this project to decrease the high mortality of gynaecological cancer as well as the high maternal mortality rate in the area of Yogyakarta Province. This is part of a collaborative project between institutions in Yogyakarta (Universitas Gadjah Mada and the Dr. Sardjito Hospital), European institutions (Medical University of Innsbruck) and the ASEA-Uninet cooperation. This platform also runs cervical cancer screening programmes in remote areas.
This internet platform also provides comprehensive information leaflets on breast, ovarian and cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and family planning in Bahasa Indonesia (the national language in Indonesia). The information presented here represents a reference guide for midwives and doctors to be printed off in regional hospitals (as well as in tertiary referral centres such as the Dr. Sardjito Hospital and brought to remote areas when going there in multidisciplinary teams). They are then provided to patients attending those hospitals or regional clinics. Furthermore, information on the early detection of high-risk pregnancies with associated symptoms and signs, antenatal care plans, neonatal resuscitation training guides and further important links will be included. No similar platform exists at the moment and there is no similar collection of information leaflets available in Bahasa Indonesia to patients and health care workers.
This platform provides a dynamic environment available to everyone. We raise patient awareness of cervical, ovarian and breast cancer as well as sexually transmitted diseases in the area of Yogyakarta Province, helping women to recognize early symptoms of disease and where to seek appropriate help. Regional screening programmes have been run for a number of years.