Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) in the first 1000 hari hari: Window of opportunity for mothers and babies­!

By Brenda de Kok, EBPP Public Health Nutritionist Volunteer

The past three months I have learned a lot about the lives and the needs of the people in East Bali. Much more than if I would only stop by as a traveler, a thing that I had been doing over the last months. I quit my job in the Netherlands as a Nutrition Researcher and started travelling the world. Ini telah menjadi pengalaman yang mendebarkan, menjelajahi budaya baru, bertemu orang-orang inspiratif dan menemukan pemandangan yang menakjubkan. Tapi ada yang lebih dari itu. Anda melihat ketidaksetaraan di dunia dengan mata Anda sendiri: keluarga di perumahan miskin, transportasi melalui jalan yang rusak,dan laki-laki dan perempuan berurusan dengan kondisi kerja yang keras, untuk nama hanya beberapa.

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Ini membuat saya ingin melakukan sesuatu sebagai imbalan bagi orang-orang yang begitu murah hati dan ramah kepada orang asing di negara mereka. Not only by buying some food from a street vendor or a bracelet from a little girl, but in a more sustainable way. My idea fitted perfectly with the philosophy of East Bali Poverty Project: “Helping the people to help themselves” and that is how I ended up sending my application for three months volunteering as a Public Health Nutritionist.

After arranging my visa, I settled down in Sanur – close to the Annika Linden Centre where EBPP has set up their Health and Nutrition Centre. In this office, keahlian organisasi diperluas ke masyarakat lain yang membutuhkan support.Here khusus, I supported Putri Krismayanthi (yang sangat-termotivasi lulusan Kesehatan Masyarakat dan anggota Tim Kesehatan EBPP sejak Desember 2014) dengan memberikan konseling gizi untuk anak-anak dengan cerebral palsy (cacat perkembangan yang mempengaruhi pergerakan, postur dan koordinasi). Many of these children are malnourished and by providing tailored advice to the parents we aim to improve their nutritional status and ability to benefit from the therapy they receive from YPK, a Balinese NGO dedicated to support people with physical disabilities. It was lovely to see the parents caring so much for their son or daughter, being interested to try different food textures and new recipes to stimulate the children’s appetite and increase meal variety. In the last month, we had seen some positive influence on children’s growth -the result you are hoping for. Though, not all parents were easy to reach to book successes. Therefore, I am proud that EBPP has the ambition to develop new resources for counselling and reach out to more families in 2017.

In addition to the activities at the Annika Linden Centre, I was introduced to EBPP’s health and nutrition outreach programs in Desa Ban in my first week. I visited several Posyandu (local health posts) where Cadres (volunteer community health workers, direkrut dan dilatih oleh EBPP di 2003-4) mengukur berat dan tinggi anak usia 0-5 tahun. Menurut pendaftaran data dan penelitian tambahan dari EBPP, masih banyak bayi kekurangan gizi di 19 sub-desa.

Karenanya, ada kebutuhan untuk mendapatkan pemahaman yang lebih tentang akar penyebab malnutrisi dapat mengatasi masalah: titik awal tugas saya. Sebenarnya, sebagai waktu telah berlalu hanya ada sepuluh minggu tersisa untuk mengembangkan, melakukan dan mengevaluasi penelitian! Sebuah tantangan yang saya senang untuk mengambil bersama dengan Amy Cardamone (Program Kesehatan EBPP Advisor) dan Karina Tarcisio, who also joined EBPP as a qualified and experienced volunteer Public Health Nutritionist this September.

copy-of-4Tujuan kami adalah untuk belajar dari orang tua, Kader dan bidan menggunakan diskusi kelompok terfokus. Ketika bekerja pada tugas, Saya menyadari pengaruh budaya dan agama yang benar-benar kuat di sini di Bali. Not only it had an impact on planning our focus group schedules but it also appeared in the answers that the participants gave. In four weeks’ time, we managed to speak to 38 orang tua, 14 Cadres and 6 midwives that serve the area during eight focus group discussions. All staff members of the Health Team contributed to accomplish this, a great team effort that I found so amazing. Our results show that there are many opportunities to improve the nutritional status of the children in Desa Banespecially in the first 1000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday. It is the window of opportunity and can break the cycle of poor nutrition for a healthier and more prosperous future. We heard many stories that struck me deeply; families that have no water in the dry season, no money to buy meat, no transportation to go the health clinic, no soap to wash hands, no proper feeding practices for babies and so on. But I keep hope as the results are the foundation for EBPP’s 2017 program penjangkauan untuk mendorong perubahan perilaku dan meningkatkan kesadaran tentang kemungkinan untuk membuat perubahan dalam pertama 1000 hari hari.

Organisasi ini diberkati dengan karyawan yang penuh gairah yang membuat waktu saya banyak menyenangkan juga. Terima Kasih! Terima kasih kepada kalian untuk waktu yang tepat dengan East Bali Poverty Project.Again, Saya belajar banyak tentang kehidupan dan kebutuhan masyarakat di Bali Timur – dan menempatkan sesuatu dalam perspektif tentang kehidupan saya sendiri. Saya senang saya bisa berkontribusi dengan cara ini dan saya berterima kasih atas pengalaman berharga ini.

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