14 November 2023

Maternal nutrition in Indonesia

Maternal nutrition starts from preconception, carries through the ante and postpartum periods and continues throughout the reproductive period and the transformative years from the foetal stage to adolescence. Indonesia has a high prevalence of maternal malnutrition coupled with high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality. According to Riskesdas 2018, 1 in 2 pregnant women are anaemic, 1 in 6 are thin, 1 in 3 are short stature. Many maternal health programs have been implemented in Indonesia, including routine iron and folic acid (IFA) and postpartum vitamin A supplementation, supplementary feeding for undernourished pregnant women and nutrition education and counselling. It is important to periodically review these programs to ensure alignment with the most up to date evidence and global recommendations, to address barriers and bottlenecks and to adjust programming for maximum impact. Against the backdrop, this landscape analysis seeks to better understand the current state of maternal nutrition programs in Indonesia. It aims to provide a systematic identification of barriers – from the policy level to program implementation – of maternal nutrition interventions in Indonesia, and their alignment with the 2016 WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience (as well as the relevant WHO nutrition recommendations for menstruating women and postpartum women). Additionally, the analysis also aims to understand the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the preparedness of the health systems in dealing with uncertainties due to the impact of the pandemic. Findings are summarized according to the intended beneficiary during three distinct stages: before pregnancy (adolescent girls and women of reproductive age); during pregnancy (pregnant women); and after pregnancy (postpartum women) and recommendations were provided as a set of priority (short-term), medium-term and long-term actions.
24 July 2020

Report of Rapid Health Assessment

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Indonesia, with technical support from UNICEF, conducted a rapid assessment at different levels of the health system to have a better understanding the effects of COVID-19 on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services. The aim of this exercise was to identify gaps, gather perceptions of health workers, prepare for the resumption and safe scale up of MNCH activities, and tailor interventions to reach vulnerable communities. From April-May 2020, a total of 2,740 puskesmas (health center) participated in the online survey with a completion rate of 86%, covering all 34 provinces in the country. The survey found that 75% village health posts (‘posyandu’) were closed and over 41% home visits were suspended. Nearly 86% of posyandus reported suspension of child growth and development monitoring, 55% reported a suspension of immunization services and 46% reported a disruption of Vitamin A distribution and similarly 46% reported suspension of antenatal care services. The main reasons stated for suspension of services included community safety concerns as well as physical distancing measures and health workers’ anxiety. Building on these findings, MOH, with support from partners including UNICEF, is working to ensure sustainability of essential health service for mothers and children during COVID-19 pandemic. This includes development of relevant guidelines and health education materials as well as capacity building for health workers.