Introduction: For the past ten years, child malnutrition has been a major national concern in Indonesia. Although the incidence of stunted toddlers has reduced, more than a fifth of toddlers in Indonesia still have stunted growth, making the issue of stunted toddlers a public health concern. This condition got worst due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Indonesia, the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered access for mothers and children to optimal health services. Thus, This study aims to assess the effect of empowerment of the "Mahatta" cadre on the health degrees ahead of the first thousand days of birth.
Method: The research design was quasi-experimental, with consecutive sampling techniques to determine. The study was conducted in Sampang City. In this study, we divided into two groups. Each group consists of 58 respondents. The intervention group was a group that got empowerment from Mahatta cadres, and the control group was not. The instrument used in this study was a questionnaire sheet. The statistical analysis for the analytic study was man Whitney and Wilcoxon and chi-square. The significant p-value was less than 0.05.
Results: The average age in the intervention group (43.59 ± 7.910 years old) was higher than the control group (42.53 ± 8.236 years old). Our findings show an enhancement of the test result in the control group of Mahatta's health workforce empowerment aspect. The empowerment of Mahatta cadres significantly increases the health status score (p=0.000) in the intervention group. The mean value in the intervention group was even higher than in the control group. This showed the potential for Mahatta cadres to improve the health status of pregnant women and children under two years of age.
Conclusion: The empowerment of Mahatta cadres significantly increases the health status score in the intervention group.