Improving the Health of Lombok Children through Bengkel Gizi Terpadu Program
ACTNews, EAST LOMBOK – For four months, the people of Lombok have been trying to recover after the massive earthquake. They are slowly rebuilding their life back to normal. In these months, the generosity of Indonesian people had been empowering the disaster-affected people in Lombok. Through Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT), various programs had been initiated to alleviate the suffering of the people of Lombok, from aid distribution, shelter construction to medical assistance.
Entering the fifth month after the earthquake, ACT’s medical assistance programs continue. One of the programs is called BeGiTu, which stands for Bengkel Gizi Terpadu. This program aims to improve the health of the locals through integrated, participative rehabilitation process. The program that first began in 2010 was initiated in Lombok to improve the health of malnourished children. The funding of BeGiTu is supported by the zakat funds channeled through Global Zakat – ACT.
In Sembalun Sub-District, East Lombok, ACT first held BeGiTu program in mid-November. Hundreds of people diagnosed with marasmus and undernutrition came to participate in integrated nutrition improvement programs. The children were weighed in and medically examined. Of the total 129 children who were medically examined, 36 were diagnosed with marasmus and 56 were diagnosed with undernutrition.
“This program will be done periodically. The children who have been examined and diagnosed with malnutrition will be given treatments to improve their nutrition. Our team will regularly visit their villages to provide assistance. They will have their weight measured and will be given counsel on proper nutrition. They will also get free nutritious food packages to support their nutrition improvement,” explained Dr. Muhammad Riedha Bambang, coordinator of BeGiTu program.
Dr. Riedha further mentioned that the parents will also be involved actively in the nutrition rehabilitation process. BeGiTu – ACT team will also educate the parents on healthy lifestyle. “We will educate the parents about proper nutritional intake for their family as well as about water and sanitation,” explained Dr. Riedha.
Not only educating the parents and providing counsel on proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle, ACT will also empower the families by providing capitals and skills so that they can improve their livelihood and will be able to financially support their families.
“Once we provide these services to the families, Insha Allah, the number of children suffering from malnutrition can be slowly reduced. Hopefully, the BeGiTu program will continue assisting more families to raise more awareness about the importance of proper nutrition,” said Dr. Riedha.