Monday, 23 February 2015

EU and UNICEF join forces to improve maternal and infant nutrition in Papua

- By Devi Asmarani

Tina Hiluka of Muliama Village in Jayawijaya, Papua, and her baby boy. Unlike her first four children, Tina gave birth to her baby at a public health centre with the help of a trained midwife after spending a week at its maternity waiting home.
©UNICEFIndonesia/2015/Devi Asmarani

When Tina Hiluka of the Muliama Village in Indonesia’s Papua province gave birth to her youngest child late last year, it was a stark contrast to the births of her first four children.

Instead of at home accompanied only by her family, this time she gave birth to her baby at a public health center (Puskesmas), with the help of a trained midwife.

“They gave me water when I was thirsty, they also fed me when I was hungry,” Tina says in her local dialect. “At home, nobody really could take care of me like that.”

Friday, 13 February 2015

No progress on combatting malnutrition in Indonesia

Nick Baker, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer

UNICEF Indonesia Representative Gunilla Olsson discusses the Global Nutrition Report 2014.
©UNICEF Indonesia/2015/Nick Baker

Indonesia has undergone seismic changes over recent years – from economic to political to technological – but one measurement has remained surprisingly stable: malnutrition.

The country has made almost no progress in reducing child malnutrition since 2007, according to the Global Nutrition Report (GNR) 2014, which the Government of Indonesia launched on Monday with UNICEF and other partners. The report assesses various nutrition outcomes for all 193 UN member states.

The GNR 2014 found that a staggering 37 per cent of Indonesian children under five are stunted, which indicates they do not grow properly, both physically and mentally. Poor Indonesians are 50 per cent more likely to be stunted than those in the upper wealth quintile, but still up to 30 per cent of Indonesian children from the wealthiest families are also stunted.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Prosperity rests on stronger efforts to reduce malnutrition

Gunilla Olsson, Representative of UNICEF Indonesia
Children from a traditional village in Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara.

There is a widespread belief in Indonesia that its people are short by nature. Because generation after generation of family members is small in size, many people assume that physical stature is a genetic trait over which people have no control. 

But science shows that this is not usually the case. Short and thin mothers give birth to small and malnourished children, who grow poorly because they are unable to eat sufficient nutritious food, or they suffer frequent episodes of diarrhea and other infectious diseases. The girls become short and thin mothers, and so the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition continues.