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WINNER 2023 » Speakers » Rachmalina Soerachman
Rachmalina Soerachman
a Senior researcher at BRIN. A health anthropologist, she has conducted a lot of health research on marginalized groups, including indigenous health.


Rachmalina Soerachman, is a socio behavioural researcher in the National Research and Innovation Agency, Republic of Indonesia. Her current position is Senior Researcher at Rural and Marginalized Community Health Research Group. She earned her master’s degree in health Promotion from Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, while her bachelor in anthropology earned from University of Indonesia. She has been involved in socio behavioural research particularly in qualitative methods.

Her recent research interest includes environmental health, medical anthropology (including medical ethnography), community based participatory action research particularly in public health, rural marginal health, Maternal and Newborn Health. Her interest in this field of study came from the idea that Indonesia has thousands of unique traditional behaviours from various ethnic groups and marginalized community, and health promotion should be approached by using local specific program.

Presentation Summary

This study shows about local specific intervention method based on modification of traditional culture to improving health. The study indicates that the Sei tradition is perceived as an important element among Timor community in their traditional practice. Yet, such cultural tradition presents a risk to maternal and newborn health status.

Accordingly, the families and communities have been encouraged to raise their consciousness about health issues especially related with respiratory infection, burn wounds and even mortality of mothers and the newborn. At the same time, an alternative of healthy traditional behaviour has been introduced.

A well-designed health education program about the effects of the Sei tradition on maternal and infant health has been implemented. An old practice of spending the first 40 days after the baby born has been adjusted to only the first 4 days.

Getting helps from the community, some families have already used healthy traditional houses “Ume Kbubu” that have enough light and more ventilation for dealing with indoor air pollution.