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Jakarta Post

Our starving children

  • Jonatan Lassa

Bonn   /   Fri, January 23 2009   /  10:23 am

Just recently, this newspaper reported 11 children died of acute malnutrition in Kupang, West Timor within just three weeks. Four of them were from an ex-East Timor refugee camp in Kupang district (The Jakarta Post, Jan. 15).
The story of the mortality of the 11 children was “fortunate” in being seized upon by the media both at the national and the provincial level. But this could be just the tip of the iceberg, because, while the rest of the toll is too unfortunate to experience the spotlight, “a silent emergency” is spreading throughout the nation. Again, this newspaper, reported that the 11 children were not alone. That there were more than 600 recorded infant deaths during 2007-2008 in Banyumas, Central Java, alone (The Jakarta Post, Jan. 9).
Let us make a short detour to ascertain the definition of malnutrition. Early understanding of malnutri...