Maternal and reproductive health (MRH) services during the 2013 eruption of Mount Sinabung: A qualitative case study from Indonesia

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Maternal and reproductive health (MRH) needs are particularly heightened during disasters, affecting the long-term maternal morbidity and mortality. This single case study, drawing on the 2013 eruption of Mount Sinabung, Indonesia, aimed to investigate the experiences of pregnant women and the perspectives of community leaders on the accessibility and the provision of MRH services during the emergency response phase. The study was conducted between August 2017 and April 2018 in the newly relocated villages in Siosar Kabanjahe, Karo district. Data were collected from two stakeholder groups over two phases. Phase 1 with 10 women who were pregnant at the time of the eruption. Phase 2 with 16 community leaders. Data were thematically analysed and utilised NVivo software. While there were considerable efforts to provide MRH services following the eruption, these were described as inadequate. The activation of local disaster management authorities and provision of free-of-charge MRH services were seen as imperative to improving the disaster responses. To improve responses in future disasters, health authorities are recommended to upscale health information systems in emergencies, educate health professionals on Disaster Risk Management (DRM), improve guidelines related to temporary shelter and improve multi-sectoral coordination to ensure MRH provision is aligned with DRM policies.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Global Public Health