The ARCH Indonesia team continues to disseminate results of recent research to high-level officials in Bandung City.
Bandung City, the capital of West Java Province, was the site of two studies into infant and young child feeding practices and marketing of commercial foods conducted by the ARCH Project from 2017-2018. Findings will be published in the journal Maternal & Child Nutrition in early 2019. In the meantime, the ARCH Indonesia Team has been working hard to disseminate key results to stakeholders in Bandung City and in Indonesia more broadly.
Recent meetings have taken place with local government offices, including the offices of Women’s Empowerment & Child Protection, Family Planning & Population, Education, Food & Agriculture, Trade & Industry, Information & Public Relations, and Research & Development. Connections with the Bandung City Mayor and the Bandung City Health Office have allowed the ARCH team to work collaboratively to advocate for the importance of infant and childhood feeding to other government sectors.
The team has also engaged the Bandung City Women’s Community Organization, which has committed to take a more active role in monitoring inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitutes in health facilities and public areas. They have also agreed to reach out to retailers in the city to encourage them to reduce promotions of unhealthy foods and beverage, and increase promotion of fruits, vegetables and local foods.
Recommendations for Bandung City to improve infant and young child nutrition include the following:
- Improvement of policy: there should be a city-level regulation to curb misleading promotion of unhealthy commercial snack foods. A monitoring system is needed to ensure infant formulas are not promoted. City officials should not endorse or distribute snacks as part of their nutrition improvement program.
- Capacity building: Kaders in Bandung need to be aware and support breastfeeding and optimal infant and young child feeding practices. They also need to understand the consequences of endorsing and providing sugary/salty snacks to young children. The City Administration should work with Bandung City Women’s Community Organization (Empowering Family Welfare network/PKK) to plan the activities.
- Public awareness: The City Public Relation Office and Food & Agriculture Office should develop a public information/advertisement campaign that can interest the public in consuming more nutritious foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
- Coordination: the Deputy Mayor will assign a working group to formulate immediate, mid-term, and long-term planning to follow up these recommendations and to integrate them with the City budgeting plans.