FKUB Community Service: Detection of Gut Microbial Dysbiosis to Prevent Stunting

FKUB lecturers conduct stunting risk screening by detecting gut microbiota dysbiosis in elementary school students in Malang Regency

Lecturers at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya (FKUB) conducted stunting risk screening by detecting gut microbiota dysbiosis in elementary school students in Malang Regency. This community service activity was carried out at SDN 01 Sidorahayu and SDN 01 Mendalanwangi, Malang Regency in August-September 2023.

The Chief Executive, Dr. Yuanita Mulyastuti, M.Si said that gut microbiota has an important role in macro- and micronutrient metabolism, as well as the development of the immune system. Many studies link dysbiosis or an imbalance in the composition of the gut microbiota as a risk for stunting.

“There is no specific data regarding the gut microbiota profile in the area, while the two schools are representatives of schools within the FKUB-assisted villages. “It is hoped that the gut microbiota dysbiosis screening can become a reference for policy makers to establish targeted stunting prevention programs,” explained Yuanita.

Apart from that, increasing health-related literacy needs to be increased by involving the active role of students and teachers, as well as parents to optimize breaking the chain of stunting. In this case, increasing literacy is carried out through modules on the topic of balanced eating patterns and clean and healthy lifestyles which students complete with parental assistance at home.

“Education and the role of students’ parents need to be improved regarding clean and healthy lifestyles, as well as students’ eating patterns which can influence student growth and development as well as the incidence of disease in students, which can have an impact on other individuals at school,” said the lecturer at the Department of Clinical Microbiology. .

According to Yuanita, the weak literacy of clean and healthy lifestyles has an impact on the difficulty of forming healthy habits, while elementary schools are institutions that have great potential to become agents of change, considering that students have been there for six years, so the healthy school program is expected to strengthen school health efforts (UKS) to initiate and implement the program which can improve the quality of healthy life.

Yuanita and the team consisting of dr. Siwipeni Irmawanti Rahayu, SpMK, dr. Etty Fitria Ruliatna, SpMK(K), dr. Andrew William Tulle, M.Si, and several students carry out various work programs. These include presentation of material and discussions, preparation of a healthy student ambassador program, stunting risk screening by detecting gut microbiota dysbiosis, as well as evaluation of students regarding healthy behavior that has been taught and exemplified.

Gut microbiota screening is carried out by taking fecal samples collected by students of the Medical Study Program and Clinical Microbiology Specialist Doctoral Education Program for later analysis at FKUB Clinical Microbiology Laboratory.

Through this activity, it is hoped that the capacity and activity of teachers and students in the two schools will increase through a structured program in implementing a clean and healthy lifestyle, and can become a pilot program for strengthening UKS as the backbone of stunting resilient schools.

“We hope that all educational components in schools can work together to play an active role in implementing a clean and healthy lifestyle as an effort to prevent stunting,” concluded Yuanita. [Irene/ UB PR/ Trans. Iir]