Monday, 13 July 2020

Creative Idea from Tanoto Scholars to Help Community on Stunting Prevention

Written by Arini Dina Yasmin, Tanoto Scholar from Brawijaya University

We are a team of eight students of Brawijaya University, three of whom are Tanoto Scholars: Adam Syarif Hidayatullah, Ismelia Novitasari, and myself, Arini Dina Yasmin, developing an educational stunting prevention smartphone app called SMAOTHER (Smart Mother).

The idea to create SMAOTHER came from Tanoto Foundation, an independent family philanthropy organisation founded by Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto in 1981. While participating in Tanoto Foundation training activities, we listened to presentations about their various programs to improve human capital development in Indonesia.

One of Tanoto Foundation’s areas of focus is contributing to the prevention of stunting in Indonesia. We looked more deeply into stunting, and it turns out the problem is very serious and complex in Indonesia. The stunting figure is still quite high in the country – around 27.7 per cent – according to the 2019 survey data from the Ministry of Health.

This inspired us to make an app to educate people on stunting prevention. We wanted to get involved and do something to help improve the quality of human resources in Indonesia.

We began the process of creating the app in March 2019. It took about two months of hard work to complete it. Each team member had a role in developing the app – data collection, content creation, or the technical process of making the app itself.

We often had to work late during that time. We even worked until dawn in the days nearing the deadline. Since starting the project, we were determined to spend time on it with the notion that we were going to create something that would be beneficial to the nation. As young people, we feel the need to be involved and offer solutions to existing issues. We can’t just stand idly by.

Our SMAOTHER application has several features. First, it contains educational information about stunting. It also contains news and tips on maternal and child health. The app features information about pregnancy and fetal development according to age, which users can use to compare with their own pregnancies.

SMAOTHER also allows users who have children below five years old to input their biodata (including the child’s age and weight) which will be sent directly to their nearest Posyandu (Child Health Centre) so that the centre can monitor the child’s health.

We are proud because our efforts have been recognised at several regional forums. In June 2019, our team won the gold medal in the education application category at the 2019 Young Inventors Exhibition (WYIE) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 2019 WYIE was attended by participants from 11 countries, including Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Australia and China.

Right now, we are planning to further develop SMAOTHER by releasing it to the public. We hope this small step can help the government in preventing stunting in Indonesia.

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