Women’s roles in families and communities make them key drivers of development. They are caretakers of children, the ill, and the elderly, food producers, providers of water, food and shelter and income earners. Good nutrition is foundational to women’s wellbeing and resilience, made painfully clear by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, collective efforts have been mainly directed to child nutrition and failed to improve women’s nutrition. In the lead up to the U.N Food Systems Summit and Tokyo’s Nutrition for Growth Summit, this session will highlight the urgency for new and SMART commitments across food and health systems to build women’s health and resilience – for women, their families, and the broader social and economic development of nations.
To dive more into this issue, you can join the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Consortium and The Micronutrient Forum will present an hour-long WHO Food Systems Health Talk on Women Nutrition: Resilience and Recovery on the Road to 2030, featuring an international panel of experts. The talk is scheduled for Tuesday, 8th June 2021, from 5:30-6:30PM IST | 2-3 PM CET | 7-8 PM WIB.
If you haven’t registered yet, sign yourself up here: https://hmhbconsortium.org/registration
and access more information here: https://hmhbconsortium.org/womens-nutrition/
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Global Grand Challenges Canada’s Saving Lives at Birth initiative, the two research and validation studies include the integration of Biospectal OptiBP and focus on the routine measurement of blood pressure as well as assessment of hypertension during pregnancy
SAN FRANCISCO and LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – MAY 20, 2021 – Biospectal, the remote patient monitoring and biosensing software company, today announced the next step in its commitment to global health by launching two independent research and validation studies using Biospectal OptiBP™. Currently underway in four low-resource countries, the studies center on the routine measurement and monitoring of blood pressure, assessment of hypertension during pregnancy, and enable global field testing and validation of Biospectal’s OptiBP smartphone app and data platform integration with the WHO’s Digital Antenatal Care module, following WHO SMART guidelines and built on the WHO Open Smart Register Platform (OpenSRP). The two new independent global health research and validation studies follow the recent publication of a large-scale, third-party research study in Scientific Reports in Nature, which demonstrated Biospectal’s ability to measure blood pressure as accurately as a sphygmomanometer, commonly referred to as a standard blood pressure cuff. Both new studies further Biospectal’s ability to transform the global network of smartphones into a connected, clinical-grade blood pressure monitoring platform — democratizing access and bringing the power of remote patient monitoring to people and communities worldwide.
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the first independent study is underway in three countries — South Africa, Tanzania and Bangladesh — and is concentrated on routine blood pressure measurement and monitoring as well as hypertension disorders during pregnancy. The second independent study in Indonesia is being conducted with the Summit Institute for Development (SID) in collaboration with Ona Kenya Limited and is funded through Grand Challenges Canada’s Saving Lives at Birth initiative, with additional backing from USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the HRP Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction. The study centers on hypertension disorders during pregnancy, including chronic hypertension, preeclampsia-eclampsia, preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension and gestational hypertension. Findings from the two studies will be available in the first half of 2022.
Biospectal OptiBP enables anyone in the world with a smartphone to turn their device into a connected, clinical-grade blood pressure monitor in the time it takes to download and install an app. The OptiBP medical-grade smartphone app uses a smartphone camera’s lens to easily measure and record a user’s blood pressure flow via their fingertip. Using proprietary algorithms and optical signal capture methods, Biospectal OptiBP then transforms the captured data into blood pressure values in approximately 20 seconds — half the time of a typical blood pressure cuff. The captured blood pressure data connects seamlessly with a user’s clinicians to support treatment regimens that help improve health, longevity and quality of life. View a short video of how Biospectal OptiBP works here.
“The ability for anyone to assess blood pressure accurately with a readily available device such as a smartphone opens the door to personal monitoring of many acute and chronic medical conditions. It’s a massive leap forward in technology toward empowerment for wellness, and crucial in the post Covid-19 world,” said Dr. Anuraj Shankar of University of Oxford, U.K., and Lead Investigator for Community Health at the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit, and the Summit Institute for Development in Indonesia. “The synergy with other point-of-care tests and the transition to digital health globally means optimal care for pregnant women experiencing hypertension, and will lead to more healthy mothers and healthy babies.”
Hypertension is a global threat and is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the WHO. Fewer than one in five of the estimated 1.13 billion people with hypertension have it under control, and two-thirds live in low- and middle-income countries. Hypertension prevalence rates are on the rise in developing countries with no improvement in awareness or control rates. As the only pure software solution on the market in an easy-to-use smartphone app, Biospectal is the answer to the major problem of monitoring and measuring blood pressure in developing countries. “For low and middle-income countries around the globe, this type of technology is a game-changer in the fight against non-communicable diseases, dominated by hypertension and cardiovascular disease,” says Professor Alain Labrique, Director of the Johns Hopkins Global mHealth Initiative and Associate Chair for Research in International Health. “For the billions of people living in remote, rural communities, having access to accurate blood pressure readings will enable early diagnosis and hopefully, treatment — preventing illness and loss of life.”
“Smartphones are the number one device worldwide and someone in Tanzania or Indonesia is more likely to have a smartphone than any other consumer device. Biospectal’s pure software and app approach simultaneously democratizes access to blood pressure measurement and monitoring due to the widespread worldwide availability of smartphones,” said Biospectal CEO and co-founder, Eliott Jones. “We can scale our modern, medical-grade, easy-to-use blood pressure measurement and monitoring OptiBP technology globally with extreme efficiency to any country, at any time.”
Biospectal OptiBP for Android launched in public beta in January 2021. Biospectal OptiBP for iOS is planned for public beta launch in the second half of 2021. Learn more at https://www.biospectal.com.
On March 10, 2021, the Micronutrient Forum announced the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Consortium (HMHB) launch. The Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Consortium (HMHB) is working to ensure that women everywhere have access to vital nutrition services and antenatal care that protect their health during pregnancy and lactation and provide a healthy start in life for their babies.
We can provide an inclusive, collaborative, and comprehensive platform with other stakeholders to shape and drive a shared plan for introducing, implementing, and scaling multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) through this consortium.SUMMIT Institute for Development (SID) is one of the consortium partners organized by the Micronutrient Forum. This event is expected to be a forum for maternal and child health expertise to improve access to better maternal nutrition services.
Yuni Dwi Setiawati (Senior Research Officer) was invited to represent SID Indonesia as a speaker. She had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with Lenore Spies (Consultant and formerly with KZN South Africa) on in-country implementation and the importance of collaboration.
In this consortium, Yuni talked about the implementation of MMS in Indonesia and the success of the summit trial conducted by SID. SUMMIT Trial is a large-scale randomized controlled trial-based research conducted in 2001-2004 in Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara Province. This study involved nearly 42 000 pregnant women. This research shows that giving micronutrient supplements (multiple micronutrient supplements) to pregnant women will reduce the risk of infant mortality by almost 20% compared to only giving supplements containing folic acid and iron.
The existence of a participatory approach supports the success of this MMS implementation by involving pregnant women in choosing the preferred MMS tablet according to their preferences, starting from determining the preferred color, shape, and package of MMS tablets so that pregnant women are more diligent in consuming MMS tablets regularly.
This consortium is expected to be a momentum to increase access to good maternal nutrition services and accelerate the availability and effectiveness of MMS implementation to facilitate access to adequate nutrition to maintain their health and prevent more infant deaths due to malnutrition.
This action can also be supported by utilizing a digital health system to support leading health workers in Indonesia, especially midwives. The digital health platform, known as OpenSRP, stands for “Open Smart Register Platform Register, intended to assist health workers in monitoring the condition of pregnant women during pregnancy to avoid complications and other unwanted outcomes. Through this application, midwives can monitor MMS consumption. Apart from reducing manual workloads, midwives also easily collect accurate data in real-time to reduce maternal and child mortality and ensure that everyone remains healthy with accurate data through the help of sophisticated technology.
Every year, April 21st is celebrated as Kartini Day. Kartini Day was celebrated to dedicate R.A. Kartini as a National hero. She is known for her role as a hero who spearheaded the rise of indigenous Indonesian women. Until now, the figure of R.A Kartini continues to be an inspiration for many women in Indonesia. Thanks to her, women have the same rights and opportunities to pursue higher education, achieve their dreams, and have a better life. Without Kartini’s struggle, maybe at this time, there would not be great and tough female figures who played a role in advancing Indonesia.
This includes the synergy role of women in the health sector. At that time, Kartini criticized a lot about access to health that was only accessible to priyayi groups. In fact, this should be accessible to all groups regardless of class. In addition, there are not many schools for indigenous women, especially health schools. Even though the mortality rate for mothers and children at that time was quite high. This is due to the high school fees. R.A. Kartini wanted to fight for the girls around her to get a better education. In the end, in 1898 the Dutch East Indies government established a free midwife school for indigenous women. With the establishment of this school, it is hoped that more girls will take up midwifery education so that it can increase the number of qualified midwives at that time. It is hoped that the increasing number of qualified midwives will improve the level of health for future generations and reduce maternal and child mortality.
Therefore, besides being known as a profession that helps in childbirth assistance, the profession of midwife is also synonymous with women and has a relationship with Kartini’s Day. These days, the struggle of midwives and other health workers is to build a future generation that is bright and accomplished. Midwives contribute greatly in providing care for pregnant women and providing delivery assistance for them. The tough tasks held by the midwifery profession cannot be carried alone without support from the government and other sectors.
Summit Institute for Development as a non-governmental organization engaged in scientific research and development that focuses on improving the quality of maternal and child health services has taken part in supporting and creating quality midwives through several programs we run. One of them is through the development of a health digital system as a platform that can be used to facilitate the duties of health workers in Indonesia, especially the midwife profession.
The platform, called OpenSRP, which stands for Open Smart Register Platform Register, is intended to assist midwives in monitoring the condition of pregnant women and their development according to WHO standards. Starting from monitoring patient medical records such as antenatal care, planning for delivery, postpartum care, infant care, toddler growth and development, vaccinations, to family planning. The use of digital platforms like this is a form of innovation to keep up with the increasingly rapid developments in technology. In addition to reducing manual workloads, it is hoped that OpenSRP can make it easier for midwives to collect accurate data in real-time.
Not only that, SID also facilitates OpenSRP user by providing various training in the form of OpenSRP application training and midwifery competency training and every midwife who is an OpenSRP user is also given assistance by our staff. This effort is made to support the quality of frontline health workers in order to provide optimal health services for the community. We SID wish you a Happy Kartini Day to all women in Indonesia. Whatever your profession, race, religion, or ethnicity, be a lamp that never goes out, always shining with the intelligence you have.
The month of Ramadan has come. This year will be the second Ramadan during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this situation does not reduce our enthusiasm for worshiping during fasting in this holy month. During the month of Ramadan, fasting for more than 12 hours means that our body does not get any food and fluid intake so we will get tired quickly while doing activities. Basically, our bodies need adequate nutrition and fluids to be able to support the performance of the body’s organs. So that during fasting your body condition is always in good health and worship remains smooth, here are some tips that you can do while fasting during this pandemic.
1. Fulfill the Needs of Nutrition and Fluid
The time of suhoor and iftar time is an opportunity for the body to recover from insufficient nutrition and lack of fluids after a day of fasting. However, many people still don’t understand how to manage a good diet so they don’t overdo it during fasting. Applying the principle of balanced nutrition is one easy way so that during fasting, food portions are maintained in quality and quantity. The principle of balanced nutrition (pedoman gizi seimbang) aims to provide an overview of daily food consumption patterns based on diverse food consumption principles according to needs.
Apart from that, you also need to know about my plate’s term (isi piringku) contents to know how many portions of food you should consume. The principle of this plate’s contents is to divide the plate into several parts, namely 1/3 of the contents are filled with staple foods; 1/3 contains vegetables, and the rest is filled with animal and vegetable side dishes and fruits. Do not forget to meet your fluid needs by consuming 2 glasses of water when Iftar, 4 glasses at night, and 2 glasses at dawn. You also need to pay attention to eating slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
2. Do Physical Activity
When fasting, your body will become weak easily and you will tire more quickly than usual. However, this is not an excuse for you not doing any activities and just lazing around at home. You don’t need to do strenuous exercise, just exercise 3-5 times a week with a frequency of 15-30 minutes a day.
Choose exercise that suits your physical abilities. Exercise time can be done before iftar time, 30-60 minutes with a lower intensity. If you want to exercise outside your home or public space, don’t forget to keep your distance and wear a mask. But you should still exercise at home.
3. Get Enough Rest
Apart from paying attention to nutritional needs and maintaining body fitness, adequate rest is also important. Lack of rest can reduce the body’s immunity and can affect the body’s metabolism. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep at night and avoid sleeping late.
4. Maintain Personal Hygiene
For the second time, we must carry out Ramadan side by side with the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is a challenge in itself for us in carrying out worship. In addition to maintaining the heart and mind’s cleanliness, maintaining personal hygiene to keep the body and immune system healthy is an important thing to do.
To reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus and other diseases, make sure to keep your hands clean by always washing your hands using soap and running water; cleaning the house regularly; try to shower immediately after traveling outside the house, and maintain oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after sahoor and breaking the fast.
The nutritional problem in adolescents often neglected is the lack of intake of micronutrients, one of the most common manifestations of anemia. Anemia is a body condition in which a person has a hemoglobin (Hb) level in the blood that is lower than normal (<11 g / dL). Low hemoglobin levels describe if the body lacks red blood cells so that oxygen forces into the body are reduced, making sufferers easily tired, less excited, dizzy, pale, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain. The 2018 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) revealed that the prevalence of anemia in adolescents is 32%, which means 3-4 out of 10 Indonesian adolescents suffer from anemia. The incidence of anemia in adolescents is influenced by several factors including unbalanced nutritional intake, especially the lack of iron intake, and other factors such as worms.
Adolescents who suffer from anemia, especially adolescent girls, as adults and pregnant will be at risk of giving birth to babies who have nutritional and health problems such as growth problems, low birth weight (LBW), premature birth, infant mortality, perinatal mortality, and susceptibility to infectious diseases due to decreased endurance of mother and baby 5. These various problems are a manifestation of the prolonged condition of anemia and chronic energy deficiency (KEK). Generations born to anemic mothers have a greater risk of suffering from a disease in adulthood, have lower cognitive abilities and productivity, so they have lower competitiveness in the world of work in the future which will directly affect their survival as adults, especially on the ability to live properly.
This problem has become a “vicious circle” of adolescent nutrition problems in Indonesia. If not handled seriously and with full commitment, the prevalence of stunting and anemia among women of childbearing age will continue to increase. Therefore, to create an accomplished millennial generation, start by caring about adolescent nutrition problems, especially anemia. If since adolescence they have had sufficient nutritional intake, then they can give birth to future generations of a disease-free nation and can improve the quality of human resources in Indonesia.
Coinciding with the 61st National Nutrition Day commemoration on January 25, 2021, which carries the big theme “Healthy Youth, Anemia Free” with the slogan “Balanced Nutrition, Healthy Youth, Strong Indonesia” has a goal that focuses on overcoming anemia in adolescents during the pandemic. COVID-19 through education, dissemination of information, and specific health promotion on the prevention of anemia during a pandemic encourage the active role of the community as well as commitment and cross-sector cooperation in overcoming anemia in adolescents. Also, iron supplementation programs for adolescent girls have been carried out and continue to be implemented even during the COVID-19 pandemic as an effort to reduce the prevalence of anemia in adolescents.
The 61st National Nutrition Day commemoration can be used as a momentum for all of us to raise awareness and commitment to create a nation with a healthy and anemia-free generation through various efforts and health programs that can answer all the challenges of nutrition problems. Certainly, this will be achieved with a lot of support from various parties and participation from the community.