At the start of the education projects, 40-60% of the children were ill due to a combination of inadequate nutrition and lack of knowledge about hygiene. Many children were suffering from impetigo. Iodine deficiency was a major problem. Now, tutors help the children to learn good hygiene habits including the importance of regular bathing, boiling drinking water, washing the hands before eating etc. After every class, the children receive a nutritious meal which includes a glass of milk and a multivitamin/mineral tablet. Nowadays, almost 100% of the children in the programme are healthy.
When tested in 1998, nearly 85% of the children of elementary school age were suffering from iodine deficiency. As well as affecting metabolism and general growth, lack of iodine is linked to arrested brain development. In 2001, EBPP worked with the local health department and the provincial government of Bali to develop a programme to raise the villagers awareness about iodine deficiency and its prevention, introduce iodised salt and distribute iodine capsules to all children under 15 and all women of reproductive age. Altogether, 858 women and 1,909 children were involved that year. The programme has continued in 2002. Between June and August iodine capsules were distributed to 1006 women and 1055 children aged 6-12. Further testing has been undertaken to monitor the effects of the programme and assess future needs. The costs of this programme have been sponsored by UNICEF.
The nearest dental care used to be over 12km away with no public transport links. To assess the children’s dental health, Drg I Panji Triadnya and his colleagues from the Dental Health Faculty of the University of Mahasaraswati in Denpasar made voluntary weekly visits to the hamlets between February and May 2001. In August Drg Panji returned with some of his students to spend another two days checking children in Desa Ban and also teaching them about preventative dental care. EBPP plans to continue this programme until all the children of Desa Ban have been checked and taught about preventative dental care. East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) proudly launched a free dental health care programme on 6th October 2006 for the children and community of Desa Ban (Ban village), Kubu Sub District, Karangasem Regency, one of the most isolated and under-served areas of Bali, with a fully equipped Mobile Dental Clinic. Click here to read the latest newsletter about this programmes. Funding is still required for this programme.
Cataract and Cleft Palate Operations
This was a joint programme with Rotary International working in co-operation with the provincial health authority, Yayasan Kemanusian Indonesia and the John Fawcett Foundation. Cataract operations are carried out in Rotarys mobile clinic and cleft palate operations in Denpasars Community Eye Centre.
Primary Health Care
Dr. Gde Ngurah Indraguna Pinatih from the Health Faculty of the University of Udayana in Denpasar, our expert health volunteer, meets regularly with EBPP health education team to design and regularly review our health curriculum. He also visits the programmes on a voluntary basis to assess the general health situation. Where there are serious health problems, the patients are referred to an appropriate doctor or hospital, often escorted by EBPP Balinese staff.