Jakarta – Indonesia still ranks among the top five countries with the highest prevalence of anemia in Southeast Asia. The high incidence of anemia is due to the fact that anemia is often asymptomatic and parents do not understand the importance of screening for anemia by checking blood hemoglobin (Hb) levels, so parents sometimes ignore the risk of their baby becoming anemic. In fact, along with suboptimal nutrition, anemia is one of the risk factors that can hinder children’s brain development. Thus, this condition will be a concern if not treated immediately as it can hamper the growth and development of the children who will become the next generation.
Most cases of anemia are caused by a deficiency of iron, which is an important nutrient in a child’s daily diet. This condition is also exacerbated by the lack of animal protein intake in Indonesia, which reaches only 43% compared to vegetable protein intake (57%). In fact, the iron content of animal protein is higher than plant protein, so it is important to consume animal protein to prevent anemia.
Dr. Luciana B. Sutanto, MS, SpGK(K), President of the Indonesian Nutrition Association, said: “One in three Indonesian children are prone to anemia. Anemia can be caused by a lack of daily iron intake for your baby. When there is not enough iron in your baby’s daily diet, cognitive development or children’s brain development and growth problems can occur, such as decreased intelligence, brain function, and children’s motor functions, such as fatigue. Parents, of course, cannot take this lightly, especially at the age of 5 when children’s brain development is still developing at a rapid pace.
In addition, in children under five years of age, anemia can be prevented by ensuring a balanced intake of nutrients, especially iron-rich animal protein sources. But, unfortunately, iron deficiency can also occur because most of the iron is not absorbed optimally in the child’s body. Therefore, a combination of iron and vitamin C is required, which is able to maximize the absorption of iron in the body and prevent anemia. For this reason, while meeting your little one’s daily nutritional needs, you may also want to consider providing fortified food sources, such as fortified milk with iron and vitamin C, so that your little one can grow optimally.”
Anna Surti Ariani, Doctor of Psychology, Master of Science, psychologist, child and family clinical psychologist said: “Parents should understand that anemia has a negative impact not only on the physical but also on the psychological state of the child. In the short term, children tend to lack concentration, are not easy to understand and remember, and their emotions also tend to be more negative, more easily sad/angry, and prone to stress. If the condition of anemia in children is not treated immediately, their growth and development may be hampered in the long term, their academic performance will generally be poor and sub-optimal as they experience learning difficulties. This is due to a disruption in the brain’s dopaminergic function, which makes children easily stressed, which can cause behavioral changes and disrupt learning. Therefore, it is important for parents to ensure that their child receives good nutrition and that they always receive the stimulation he needs, as well as to maintain a warm relationship with their child.
Dr. Ray Wagyu Basrovi, MKK., Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs of Danone Specialized Nutrition Indonesia, said, “Danone Indonesia is committed to participating in improving the quality of Indonesian children’s health and supporting the government’s efforts to build Indonesia’s golden generation. Danone Indonesia believes that currently, Indonesian children still face serious health problems in Indonesia, such as stunting and anemia, which have the potential to impair the health and cognitive aspects of children in adulthood. Keeping in mind the desire to ensure the health of as many Indonesians as possible through food innovation, Danone Indonesia continues to introduce various food innovations tailored to the needs of the Indonesian people, as well as initiatives and education to support the nutritional needs of Indonesian children. form of efforts to prevent anemia, especially in children.”
In an effort to prevent anemia, Danone Indonesia, through SGM Eksplor, initiates various nationwide educational programs every year, reaching more than 3.5 people.
This year, Danone Indonesia, through SGM Eksplor, is launching a new programmatic initiative “Together Preventing Anemia by Optimizing Advanced Cognitive Generations”, which aims to raise awareness among mothers in Indonesia about the risk of anemia in children under 5 years of age and the importance of consuming foods high in iron and vitamin C, which comes from animal protein. “Danone Indonesia also hopes that in the future there will be more parties from various institutions, including the government, healthcare professionals, the private sector, society, as well as representatives of the smallest environment, namely families, who can pay more attention to anemia. especially in children under the age of 5, to support the progress of children. Indonesia in the future,” added Dr. Ray.
Tanasha Suhandani, Brand Manager of SGM Eksplor, said: “In line with the current government’s vision of preparing Indonesia’s next generation, for over 69 years, SGM Eksplor has been committed to supporting the maximum growth and development of Indonesian children through the provision of innovative food products and various initiatives. One of SGM Eksplor’s innovations to address the problem of anemia that Indonesian children under 5 years of age still face in Indonesia is the introduction of an innovative product that contains only IronC™, a unique combination of iron and vitamin C that has been proven to helps maximize absorption up to twice as much, and other important nutrients such as DHA, tuna fat, omega 3 and 6 and other important nutrients help your little one grow optimally, become an advanced generation and prevent anemia.”
To continue to support anemia prevention and maintain optimal nutrition and stimulation, SGM Eksplor launched the “Together Prevent Anemia by Optimizing the Cognitive Ability of the Next Generation” initiative in collaboration with various parties to educate through digital platforms, including through the website www. Generasimaju.co.id, which is visited by about 10 million mothers every year. Not only that, SGM Eksplor also supports mothers through the SGM Eksplor Careline, which is made up of trusted experts such as nutritionists, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Careline is available 24/7, anywhere, anytime. The mother needs advice on nutrition and stimulation.
“In the future, SGM Eksplor will continue to be involved in various initiatives and collaborations and will always partner with Indonesian parents in providing the best quality nutritional support children need to grow into an advanced generation. Let’s prevent anemia together and optimize the cognitive development of children of the advanced generation,” concluded Tanasha.