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Malnutrition Study Resumes: Project Challenge and Positive Findings

By I Wayan Kencana, Health Team

2023 is the 4th year of the 5-year malnutrition study “Developing a Family-Based Nutrition Intervention Model in Ban Village” in collaboration with Udayana University Faculty of Medicine. In January, we started follow-up visit to the 2022 study participants who had received interventions, which are 29 families of pregnant women, 58 families of breastfeeding mothers with children under 2 years old and 78 adolescent females, to track the effectiveness of the previously implemented family model. We measured the impact by conducting focus group discussions with the families, having in-depth interviews, as well as taking anthropometric measurements of the mothers, children, adolescent females and babies, born to pregnant women respondents.

As January is a month with high rainfall in Indonesia, most of our visits were by trail motorcycle along rain-saturated narrow and damaged dirt roads. In each meeting, participants are required to be accompanied by their husbands and/or in-laws, which made it difficulty finding a suitable schedule for working husbands. Facing this challenge, our field team is required to always be prepared to face any possibility while still prioritizing safety and adjust our visit schedules to the availability of participants at home.

Despite encountering many obstacles, we are encouraged by the positive findings: Most of the participants still remembered the health-nutrition education provided in the previous years, the mothers claimed to find positive changes in their husband’s support in raising children and caring for the pregnancy, and they were encouraged to apply balanced nutrition with locally available food.

These positive findings encourage us to continue this important project until the ideal family model is developed. Please continue to support us and look forward to our stories at the next research stage!

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