Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Malnutrition you may not get to hear about in the mainstream media

Indonesia is an ally of Bush in the War on Terror, so you are not supposed to know about the increasing poverty and malnutrition in parts of Indonesia.

In Indonesia, food prices are shooting up and there is widespread malnutrition.

The Jakarta Post has recently had some stories of malnutrition among small children in Tangerang (right next to Jakarta).
Recently, some children in Tangerang have died of malnutrition.
Data from the Tangerang regency's health agency shows that 1,871 children under the age of five - mostly from areas along the north coast, such as Teluk Naga and Rajeg districts - are malnourished.

In Indonesia, every hour sees the death of 10 babies and 20 children under five years old. (Indonesia’s Infant Mortality Rate Still High)
Malnutrition became prevalent among Indonesian children following the economic crisis that came to Asia beginning in 1997. ( Asia Times: Malnutrition saps a generation's future)
Meanwhile, the elite are building more palatial houses and office blocks and mosques.

The elite Indonesian bloggers (top Indonesian blogs) rabbit on about their world of luxury and excess. No mention from them of malnutrition.

One exception is bocahcilikindonesia.blogspot.

"We found babies/ toddlers who suffer from malnutrition."


Meanwhile, the elite are using militant Islam to frustrate democracy and keep themselves in power. There is talk of a Pornography Bill.

"Many forms of women’s bathing suits, for example, would suddenly become illegal. Any publications or works of art that showed all but a fully-dressed female form, too, would conceivably be off limits. So would many cultural events, such as those in tourist destinations like Bali." - Indonesia Update


From The Jakarta Post, Saturday, April 29, 2006

Social workers say they’re alarmed by local administrators’ lack of interest in the problem of malnutrition, claiming the problem is being muzzled in the name of politics.

Subdistrict heads often refuse to acknowledge the existence of poorly-fed children, they said. Some even go as far as forbidding social workers to mention the word “malnutrition” in reports, a social worker from the Healthy Indonesia Foundation, Leny H.R., told a media forum Thursday organized by the Coalition for a Healthy Indonesia.

“Maybe they’re afraid of how a public acknowledgment like this would affect their careers,” she said.

The lack of government support has forced Leny herself to treat 20 malnourished children under two years old in the Mulyaharja subdistrict, Bogor Selatan district, Bogor.

“Luckily some private donors have come up and provided funding for the 20 children for three months, until the end of April,” she added, explaining that the donors provided milk, biscuits, and Rp 50,000 (about US$5.7) a day for food.

Leny said that she would have to find new sources of funding to continue the treatment for the next three months.

“It’s shameful that they (the local administrations) won’t acknowledge a major problem like this,” the head of the Health Ministry’s nutrition alert division, Tatang S. Falah, said in the media forum.

He said the Health Ministry’s policy was for people to report even one incidence of malnutrition to the nearest health institution or worker in their area, within 24 hours of discovery.

“Because it may not be an isolated occurrence, we treat that particular case, but we also immediately investigate the area for similar cases,” Tatang said.

The ministry recorded a prevalence rate of 23.2 percent for malnutrition in West Java in 2003, and 21.53 percent in Jakarta.


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