The children in the inner area of Papua are malnourished. But currently, the issue of malnutrition in the province of Papua is more focused on improving survival rate rather than progression and quality of life while, in fact, Papua has an abundance of natural resources with great biological and non-biological ecosystems and very diverse socio-cultural environment.
According to the research conducted by Ir. Stephen Pieter Manongga, M.S, Papuan toddlers who lived in the mainland coastal zone has better nutrition than those living in high plains and mountainous zones. The prevalence of Papuan toddlers to be malnourished reached 18.9% and while 33.8%. of children are very short. “Malnourished toddlers are found more in the medium plains zone and very short children in the middle plains and mountainous zone," said Pieter in his doctoral open examination at the UGM Faculty of Medicine on Thursday (15/12).
Factors that influence Papuan child development include physical environment, social environment, mother parenting method, history of illness and malnutrition. But the problem of malnutrition, Papuan children with suspected developmental delays has reached 77.7% which is widespread in all types of ecosystem zones. "Generally, Papuan children have delayed language development, fine adaptive motor skills, social personal and gross motor skills," he said.
He added, suspected delayed language development is found the highest in the mountains zone and coastal zones, the largest fine motor developmental delay found in the mountains zone, coastal zones and inland. Case of malnutrition causing short children is relatively small but has significant influence in the incidence of developmental delay, especialy fine motor skills and language developmental delay. "These results indicate the occurrence of development failure or short child resulting in developmental disorders," he said.
To optimize the development and life quality of children in Papua, he proposed several measures that can be taken, first, increasing food security and strengthening parenting pattern and transformation of agriculture reproductive system and village farming for the improvement of nutritional status and health of children. Second, intensifying the primary health care activities programs, environmental health and water supply. "This effort is to preserve the influence of social environment," he said.
Third, building a community-based service station for child development and optimization of children education potential and empowerment of communities’ ecosystem environment in the management of forest resources and land for the improvement of children’s life quality. In the doctoral promotion exam, acting as promoters were Prof. dr. Hamam Hadi, MS., Sc.D., co-promoter Prof. dr. Mohammad Hakimi, Sp. OG (K)., Ph.D., and Prof. dr. Hari Kusnanto, SU., Dr.PH.