Mother attempts to give birth in an open field in Bali, police say poverty may have been a factor

Badung Police has been taking care of Karina’s 4-year-old son at the station. Photo: Satuan Lantas Mangupura / Facebook
Badung Police has been taking care of Karina’s 4-year-old son at the station. Photo: Satuan Lantas Mangupura / Facebook

A woman is in intensive care after attempting to give birth in an open field in Mengwitani, Badung. Accompanied by her 4-year-old son throughout the ordeal. The police say that she may have resorted to the desperate measure because she had no money to go to the hospital.

According to Kompas, 35-year-old Karina Lisiana was immediately rushed to a local hospital after the police received a report from residents on Saturday evening. At the hospital, she gave birth to a baby daughter.

“The patient is still in intensive care. She can’t talk much just yet as she has experienced severe bleeding,” said Dr. Made Nurija from Mangusada Hospital in Badung on Monday, as quoted by Kompas.

Karina’s labor was premature as she had only been seven months pregnant. The baby was born weighing 1.9 kg.

According to police, Karina may have been driven to giving birth in the field due to economic desperation.

“So, it is likely because she was unable to pay the cost (of a hospital) and had been unable to endure the pain so she decided to give birth in a field accompanied by her young son,”  Badung Police spokesperson Iptu I Ketut Oka Bawa said yesterday as quoted by Merdeka.

For many Indonesian women, poverty remains a major obstacle to accessing quality maternal health care. In 2011, the government launched a national health insurance scheme for maternal health, known locally as Jaminan Persalinan or Jampersal, which guarantees free maternal services to all women in Indonesia.

While Jampersal sought to address the issue of high maternal mortality rates in Indonesia, the archipelago failed to fulfill Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets to reduce maternal mortality to 102 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. According to 2015 data from the World Health Organization, there are 126 deaths per 100,000 live births in the country.

Today, Jampersal is included as part Indonesia’s ambitious national health insurance program (JKN). As an Indonesian citizen, Karina should have been eligible to receive proper care, but it’s possible she was not aware of those services being offered for free.

Dr. Made said that Karina has yet to reveal more information about her identity, including her address or the contact information of family members and indicated that not revealing that information could prevent Jampersal from being able to cover her hospital fees.

Meanwhile, members of the Badung Police have been taking care of Karina’s son.

“We asked his name, but he said he didn’t have one. So we are still investigating where they actually live,” I Made Sujana from the Badung Police said, as quoted by Tribun-Bali, adding that the child did not seem to understand Indonesian but rather, Sundanese.

For the time being, the police said they will wait until Karina recovers before questioning her further, as reported by Liputan 6.

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