Nearly one in 10 Mentawai children do not make it to the age of five ...

There are 8.8 million children under five dying worldwide each year (UN Report June 2010). SurfAid’s research (conducted with the University of Indonesia) shows that nearly one in 10 Mentawai children do not make it to the age of five, which is 15 times the death rate in developed countries where, on average, there are six deaths for every 1,000 live births.

In the Mentawai and Nias where SurfAid works, more than 70 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and they have shocking health figures.

  + In the Mentawai, 41% of children under five are stunted and a further 33% are underweight.

+ In Nias, 34% are stunted and a further 34% are underweight.

+ There is a poor understanding of what constitutes good nutrition and good basic hygiene.

When SurfAid commenced its programs:

+ 87% of pregnant women in Nias, and 66% in the Mentawai, are anaemic.

+ 12% of Mentawai mothers exclusively breastfeed infants in the first six months of life.

We run our programs in the Mentawai Islands, 150km off Indonesia’s West Sumatran coast, and Nias Island, 125km off the North Sumatran Coast.  The local people in this isolated and unique island chain face many life-threatening challenges, with diseases such as acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea and malaria, and birth complications, taking a serious toll. Malnutrition is an everyday reality for both children and adults and natural disasters in the form of tsunami and earthquake add to the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of the village communities.

The SurfAid Community Based Health Program (CBHP) is currently being implemented in 33 villages in Nias (35,000 people) and we are working with 50 communities in the Mentawai (20,000 people) since the October 2010 tsunami.



SurfAid is a non-profit humanitarian organisation whose aim
is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people
living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.
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