Assessing Vitamin A Deficiency within the Indonesian Population 

KFI NewsLetter/Februari 2011/Volume 1/Section 5

The Government of Indonesia is preparing the Indonesian Quality Standard (“Standar Nasional Indonesia” – SNI) for cooking oil with vitamin A for 2011/2012. Cooking oil fortification with vitamin A in Indonesia was taken up based on an in-depth visibility study, which was carried out by KFI in 2005 with support by the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) Canada. KFI conducted a pilot study in Makassar, funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (MOH-JFPR) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in 2008/2009. These two studies demonstrated that fortified cooking oil with vitamin A is visibly implemented and improved the level of blood retinol of school children in a pilot area. Based on the Makassar study, a scaling-up concept was developed by KFI with support of GIZ. In early 2010, a project proposal based on this scaling-up concept was submitted to GAIN. In July 2010, GAIN provided a grant to KFI. On 25 January 2011, the Cooking Oil Fortification with Vitamin A project was formally launched by the Minister of Health in Jakarta. 

In order to ensure that the project objective to improve vitamin A status of children and pregnant mothers in Indonesia is achieved, the current vitamin A status prior to fortification will be assessed in 2011. After that, an impact study will be performed in 2012 by a study team of Indonesian and International Experts. With data derived from this baseline and impact study, updated data of the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency will be available in Indonesia in the near future. 

Quality Control in Oil Companies 

To assist with the quality control of the fortification process, BPOM assisted by BASF (a major chemical company, among others producing vitamin A) held two workshops in Surabaya and Bandung at the end of January 2011. These workshops were intended to familiarize BPOM staff with the necessity of quality control in the cooking oil companies and also to teach the technical use of BASF‟s semi-quantitative TestKit. Presentations were held about international country experiences of Food Fortification in staple foods, management and monitoring in the enrichment process and the stability of vitamin A in cooking oil. 

Within the framework of SAFO, the Strategic Alliance for the Fortification of Oil and Other Staple Foods, a public-private partnership between GIZ and BASF, advisory services will be delivered to KFI in the fields of Monitoring and Evaluation, Quality Assurance and Project Management. The objective of this advisory seminar was to strengthen the implementation of the KFI-GAIN project in preparing mandatory cooking oil fortification. 

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