Infant Malnutrition Hits Wealthy Tenggarong
Tenggarong, East Kalimantan. Malnutrition among infants can even be found in Indonesia’s richest district, a health official said on Thursday.
In Kutai Kertanegara, the richest district in the country with a regional budget that reached Rp 6.5 trillion ($680 million) this year, some 60 infants suffering from malnutrition have been found, said Dayang Telcip Suryani, a senior official at the district health agency.
Dayang said that out of the 60 infants, 55 were already undergoing treatment at health polyclinics, while five other were at the recovery stage.
Most of the malnutrition cases were from poor families while others suffered because they had particular ailments, such as tumors.
Dayang said that district authorities were trying to provide treatment as best as possible.
Officials are closely monitoring the patients so that the infants can become healthy.
She said that a nurse at the polyclinic has been conducting weekly monitoring, either through house visits or routine medical examinations.
“We want them to be recovered and normal. We always monitor them and provide them with adequate nutrition inputs,” she said.
Dayang said the district health office will try to build and maximize the role of neighborhood-integrated health services, or posyandu , in every village and urban ward.
She said that not all villages had a posyandu, making it difficult for residents to access health services.
In many such villages, health care is provided by traditional healers.
“One of our constraints is that there are still many villages that do not yet have posyandus and therefore we cannot detect the presence of malnutrition sufferers,” Dayang said.
A recent survey conducted by the East Kalimantan health office showed that 291 children in the province’s 14 districts and municipalities were suffering from malnutrition.