Jakarta. Nearly 40 percent of working women in Indonesia are anemic and another 20 percent are vulnerable to the iron deficiency, a new survey has suggested.
The survey, conducted recently by Project Hope Indonesia and the Buana Kusuma Foundation, two health NGOs, found that 39 percent of the total 365 working woman respondents surveyed suffered from anemia, while another 22 percent were at risk of being anemic.
All respondents were women working at four factories in West Java — three in Subang and one in Bekasi.
"When we performed anemia checks on them, we found their hemoglobin levels to be within the anemia category," Project Hope Indonesia country director Nasaruddin Sheldon told a press conference on Thursday. "This problem of anemia impacts on a body's ability to function and also reduces workers' productivity."
Untreated, anemic female workers may lose an average of 6.5 hours during the working week, while their productivity is around 10 percent lower compared with women who do suffer from the condition, Nasaruddin said.
In collaboration with Merck Sharp and Dohme, the two NGOs said they had been running the "MSD for Mothers" program for one year, which included anemic prevention for working women through education as well as hemoglobin checks.
"When we find any of them to be anemic, we immediately give them iron and vitamin supplements."
The program is scheduled to run for three years and is targeted at 10,000 women working for factories in Subang and Bekasi.