By Yusli Harini, Health Team Leader
Now in the 4th year of our 5-year malnutrition study “Developing family-based nutrition intervention in Ban Village” in collaboration with Udayana University Medical Faculty, our main activities are to test the family models piloted since 2021. As a major part of this study, we conducted the Family Gatherings of breastfeeding mother’s families with children under 2 years old, involving 61 mothers, accompanied by their husband and/or mother-in-law, etc. We hold the family gatherings in 3 stages over a 3-month period, with one visit per month at each participant's home.
Our field team started the first visit on April 5th and successfully completed the last stage visit for all participants on July 4th. Through this activity, breastfeeding mothers and their families received a complete package of health-nutrition information they need to support optimal breastfeeding, including: Balanced Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mother (introduction of food pyramid and food variations using local foods), Exclusive Breastfeeding and Optimal Complementary Food, and Children’s Growth and Development Monitoring. To maximize participants' understanding, we involved them in EMO-DEMO (Emotional-Demonstration) games/simulations on each topic. We also performed the anthropometric measurements for mothers and children and filled out pre-post-tests for mothers and families to measure the effectiveness of these activities, with further statistical analysis done by Udayana University’s expert researcher team.
We are optimistic that the method we apply involving these family members will have a major impact on overcoming nutritional problems, especially in optimising the first 1000 days of life, as we strongly believe that supportive and encouraging partner, spouse, and family members are essential in determining the health and nutritional fulfilment of mothers and children. •