By Yusli Harini, EBPP Health Team Leader
On 25th January 2023, Indonesia celebrates the 63rd National Nutrition Day (Hari Gizi Nasional), with this year’s theme of “Animal Protein Prevents Stunting”, as a public engagement to prevent stunting in growing children. In line with the theme, we’d like to present EBPP’s fight against stunting in Ban Village, East Bali.
According to BKKBN (National Population and Family Planning Board) in 2022, the national prevalence of stunting has been reduced to 24.4% from 30.8% in 2018. Bali Province is reported to have the lowest stunting rate in Indonesia; however, we still discover devastating stunting cases in Ban Village, which has the highest stunting rate in Bali and exceeds the provincial rate of 17.7%. Many children suffer from stunting due to inappropriate feeding practices inherited from their ancestors, who, without any advice/guidance from Health practitioners due to their isolated mountain location who traditionally gave 7-days-old babies complementary foods containing only rice and salt. Moreover, there was also a traditional belief that children should not eat eggs, even though eggs are the most affordable animal protein source for them. This unbalanced nutrient-poor diet which is low in protein intake continues into their childhood, whereas protein is an essential component for the growth of children.
As one of our efforts to fight stunting, we collaborate with an expert team from Udayana University conducting a 5-year malnutrition study and intervention in developing a collaborative family model to change their behaviour in relation to nutritional solutions, involving adolescent females, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers, when the mothers are accompanied by their husband and/or in-laws in every family gathering session. We introduce a balanced food pyramid and encourage the consumption of animal protein, especially from eggs, as one of the 3 main dishes in ATIKA’s Emo-Demo game (chicken liver, eggs, and fish).
2023 is the 4th year of this research in our fight against stunting, as we believe that every child must be born and grow up healthy, free from stunting.
Please continue to support our mission, and finally, Happy National Nutrition Day! •