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Church, state target malnutrition

Partnership aims to equip mothers to make the right nutritional choices

Sister Rovina Inna of the Religious of the Virgin Mary Sisters, measures a baby's weight at one of five nutrition centers established last month Sister Rovina Inna of the Religious of the Virgin Mary Sisters, measures a baby's weight at one of five nutrition centers established last month
  • Fransiskus P. Seran, Belu
  • Indonesia
  • July 11, 2011
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The St. Arnold Jannsen Clinic has partnered with a state-run health center in Belu district in East Nusa Tenggara to assist mothers in better understanding how to provide proper nutrition for their children.

The partnership has seen the opening of nutrition centers in five areas prone to high incidents of malnutrition.

Sister Rovina Inna of the Religious of the Virgin Mary Sisters, which runs the St. Arnold Jannsen Clinic, said each of the five nutrition centers, opened late last month, were staffed by three medical workers, five nutritionists and several nuns.

The centers teach mothers to prepare healthy meals made from local products such as rice, cassava and mung beans, as well as distribute biscuits, milk and medicine.

“I hope what we have taught the mothers can be applied. They can give nutritious food to their children so that the children can grow up healthy,” Sister Rovina said.

Vincentia Bui, a medical worker at one of the centers, said the program hoped to train mothers to make the right nutritional choices for their children and promote healthier lifestyles.

“We, together with the nuns, have committed to organize an awareness campaign,” she said, adding that she believed the program was beneficial for mothers.

“They do need ongoing guidance,” she said.

Rosina Taek, a mother who has visited one of the nutrition centers, agreed with the need for better education.

“This program is very good for us. It helps us understand better about making nutritious foods and adopting a healthier lifestyle. We did not know about how to deal with malnutrition before.”

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