Empowering pregnant mothers with knowledge on stunting prevention
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In 2013, Central Kalimantan’s stunting prevalence was at 41,04% which meant that almost 1 out of 2 children were stunted. That’s why when we visit primary schools in Bukit Batu (pre-pandemic), it’s not surprising to see many children below the standards of height for age.
Concerned with a possible increase in stunting in our working area of Bukit Batu due to the pandemic, YUM went to work with the goal of empowering caregivers and volunteer health workers with knowledge on pre and post natal care, child rearing, and most especially on stunting prevention.
Since June, our team in Kalimantan have been working with more than 100 pregnant mothers, spread in 6 villages, as well as 37 kader (volunteer health workers) who are part of the village-operated Posyandu (integrated health post). For Indonesians living in rural and remote areas, the Posyandu is the only formal health system that they interact with. Unfortunately, in Bukit Batu, all 16 Posyandu were closed due to the pandemic. The solution? Support the kader to go house to house to visit the pregnant mothers.
Before going door-to-door, YUM’s first goal was to prepare the 37 kader with knowledge to share with the expecting mothers such as the understanding of stunting and its effects, how to prevent stunting, the importance of breastfeeding and also nutrition for pregnant mothers. The latter is in line with YUM’s second goal which was to ensure that the pregnant mothers were eating sufficiently, frequently and nutritiously. After one-on-one discussions with each expecting mothers, it was mutually decided that each mother would be able to choose between rice & vegetables, fruits or milk for their monthly nutrition supplement. The choice depended on whether they had difficulties obtaining each category.
Five months into the program, we are very pleased with the enthusiasm of both the volunteer health workers and the pregnant mothers in Bukit Batu. All 37 kader have committed to promote the learning that they have received through the training from YUM, and the pregnant mothers are following the recommendations received through the kader. Let’s hope for healthy, happy babies!
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