Despite the advancement in the economic sector over the past few years, Indonesia is still facing various challenges in nutrition. Undernutrition, overnutrition, as well as micronutrient deficiencies which co-exist as the triple burden of malnutrition, affects millions of children, adolescents, and adults in Indonesia. Data from a health survey (Riskesdas) in 2018 showed that 30.8% of under-five children were stunted, 10.2% were wasted, and 17.7% were underweight. Adding to that, as much as 22.7% of female adolescents aged 14 to 18 years old were anemic, and 17.3% of pregnant women were indicated as underweight. Good nutrition is an important foundation for building strong human capacities, which will in turn strengthen and enhance the nation’s overall development area. In the same favor, poor nutrition status may hinder or delay the nation’s development agendas.
South Sulawesi Province, given it is one of the most dynamic provinces in the center and eastern Indonesia, also faces the same nutrition problems. The same survey in 2018 showed that the prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight in children under five years of age were 35.74%, 10.08%, and 22.93% respectively, which are relatively higher compared to the national average. Provincial and district government have been putting their effort into reducing nutrition problems. The support in planning, budgeting, implementing, and monitoring the nutrition-specific programs would accelerate the process to reach the targets, and most importantly, bring the opportunity for the children to reach their full potential.
There is a number of determinants of malnutrition. Based on the UNICEF framework of malnutrition, the causes of maternal and child undernutrition range from inadequate dietary intake, diseases, household food security, inadequate care and feeding practices, unhealthy household environment, and inadequate health services, up to the social, cultural, economic, and political context. The problem of malnutrition may also become an intergenerational chain, where the anemic and underweight adolescents may become an anemic and underweight pregnant woman, who carries the risk of delivering low birth weight baby who may become undernourished without proper practices of feeding and caring.
In this sight, UNICEF and Jenewa Madani Indonesia aim to support nutrition-specific interventions throughout the life cycle in South Sulawesi Province. This support covers the advocacy to accelerate stunting reduction effort; capacity building to strengthen the planning, budgeting, implementation, and monitoring of eight nutrition-specific programs to prevent stunting; strengthening nutrition data and information system; support the communication campaign to prevent stunting; advocacy to introduce and scale-up of the integrated management of acute malnutrition (IMAM) program; provide technical support to strengthen capacity on IMAM program; support in strengthening maternal nutrition program; support in capacity building, implementation, monitoring and recording & reporting of Healthy School Program; support the Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) program for adolescent girls, including mitigating the impact of Covid-19; and in addition to the list, support to develop Contingency Plan on Nutrition in Emergency (NiE).