Three-Year Program Targets Malnutrition

Esni Ewalde, a volunteer at posyandu, or mother and child health post, teaches women in South Ocenenu village in East Nusa Tenggara. (JG Photo/Dessy Sagita)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 10:00 AM July 15, 2014
Category : News, Health

Esni Ewalde, a volunteer at posyandu, or mother and child health post, teaches women in South Ocenenu village how to prepare simple, nutritious meals. Nearly a third of the children under five in the province are undernourished, while more than half suffer from stunting. (JG Photo/Dessy Sagita) Esni Ewalde, a volunteer at posyandu, or mother and child health post, teaches women in South Ocenenu village how to prepare simple, nutritious meals. Nearly a third of the children under five in the province are undernourished, while more than half suffer from stunting. (JG Photo/Dessy Sagita)

Jakarta. The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and the Indonesian Health Ministry have announced a three-year maternal and infant health program targeting residents of East Java.

Ravi Menon of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) said that the “First 1,000 Days of Life Movement” will introduce a cost-effective series of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions over the period 2014 to 2016 to improve the health of mothers, infants, and young children in two districts in the province.

“GAIN has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the District Health Offices of Sidoarjo and Malang to develop a program that is in line with the ministry’s priorities. We are grateful to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their support of our joint efforts,” Menon said.

The program aims to show progress towards reducing the number of infants suffering from stunted growth by improving the nutritional status of pregnant women and young children, Menon said.

Malnutrition among mothers, infants and young children, including stunting, wasting, and mineral and vitamin deficiencies is still too common in Indonesia. Although the standard of living has risen for many, nationally 37.2 percent of children under 5 years of age are stunted according to the World Health Organization definition, 12.1 percent suffer wasting, and 19.6 percent are malnourished, according to government data.

Program activities will be implemented by several NGOs including Save the Children Indonesia and others who will implement behavioral change programs and provide water filtration services.

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