Indonesia's health minister names province's governor special envoy for breastfeeding

Indonesia's health minister names province's governor special envoy for breastfeeding
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Health Minister Nila Moeloek has named West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi a Special Envoy for Breastfeeding to honour his administration's successful efforts to achieve a high rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the province.

The exclusive breastfeeding rate in NTB was 78.2 per cent in 2015, data shows.

"It's higher than the average national rate, which was 61.8 per cent only," said Nila during the launch of the Healthy Lifestyle People's Movement (Germas) in Mataram on Wednesday.

Majdi said to raise the rate, the NTB administration issued Bylaw No. 9/2012 on Exclusive Breastfeeding.

He said the launch of Germas would provide motivation for both the NTB administration and the general public to support the government's Healthy Indonesia programme.

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The governor said health was one of NTB's strategic priority issues.

Health was one of three determiners of the human development index, which included education and the economy, that was quite difficult for the provincial administration to achieve.

"To get health improvements, integrated efforts and extraordinary patience are needed and there should be an optimal engagement of all parties," said Majdi.

About 300 representatives of government branches and other groups, including health workers, NGOs and community and religious leaders, from 10 regencies and cities in NTB attended the event.

Majdi said the percentage of budgets allocated to health care in NTB had been above 10 per cent.

"In fact, budgets and policy supports only cannot guarantee the success of the government's work in the health sector. The most important thing is the participation and awareness of all of society's members," he said.

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