I began to work professionally in public health nutrition half a century ago. I like this work and am proud of it, and it remains my work in retirement.
I graduated from the undergraduate Academy of Nutrition, under the Minister of Health in Jakarta, in 1960. My earliest experience as a government public health nutrition worker was at Aceh Province (with a four million population) working as an educator and advocate with the public and with government policy makers in the province. After graduating MPH in 1969 from the School of Public Health at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, I lectured at the undergraduate school of nutrition in Jakarta and also at Bogor Agriculture University. I was at that time also a member of various field nutrition studies.
I graduated from Cornell University for my master’s in international development, and PhD in international nutrition, with Michael Latham as my supervisor.Most of my later life as from 1975 has been dedicated to nutrition lecturing, policy advocacy, nutrition planning and policy making, in food, health and nutrition, at national level. After retiring from government office in 1996, I have led and managed a non-government professional nutrition organisation, working at national and international level. This work continues.
I believe that public health nutrition should lead in policy research and publications on the application not only of nutrition sciences for preventing disease and health promotion, but also in national or regional policy and planning in human development.It should also take a lead in research on food and nutrition safety regulation and enforcement nationally and internationally, and in research on nutrition transition epidemiology. It should be more interdisciplinary, not only among health sciences, but also in economic, political, environmental and other development issues.
As an academic, I am a faculty member as professor of community nutrition at the Bogor Agriculture University, faculty of human ecology, in the department of community nutrition, from 1991 to date. Likewise 1991 to date in the health division, faculty of medicine, Christian University, Jakarta, and also at the public health division, faculty of medicine, Gajah Mada University, Jogyakarta, from 2000 to date. My publication most often cited is Basta SS, Soekirman et al. Iron Deficiency and Productivity, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1979; 32 :916. For others, refer to google: Soekirman. Nutrition
As a public servant, I was Director of Health and Nutrition (1983-1988) and Deputy Minister for Human Development, at the Ministry of National Development Planning, Jakarta (1988 – 1996). I am founder and chairman of the Indonesian Foundation for the Development of Food Fortification (KFI) from 2002 to date; President, the Danone Institute Indonesia (Nutrition), from 2006 to date; board member of the Danone International Institute Paris, from 2010 to date.