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Stunting Can Erode the Future of Indonesian Children |

Head of BKKBN, Hasto Wardoyo. (BP/Ant)

JAKARTA, – Stunting can erode the future of Indonesian children because its effects are difficult to repair and different from other diseases. “If a disease is caused by a fungus, for example, it does not erode intelligence. Stunting damages the future of Indonesian children, truly eroding the quality of Indonesia’s human resources,” said the Head of the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, quoted from Antara news agency, Tuesday (14/3).

Hasto Wardoyo said that tackling stunting is one of the government’s main focuses at present. In its implementation, the acceleration program for reducing stunting has been made a national priority program.

The impact of stunting is that the child has insufficient height, below-average intellectual ability, and has a great potential for having metabolic disorder diseases when older.

With a prevalence rate of stunting still at 21.6 percent, BKKBN believes that this will affect the future of Indonesian children because there is a potential for the figure to increase due to the birth of new stunted babies. “It takes between 3 to 5 years for stunting to decrease,” he said.

Hasto reminded that stunting occurs because the child suffers from chronic malnutrition, so at present, the corrective action needed is to increase the child’s nutritional intake by consuming more animal protein and processing local foods that are rich in nutrients, such as eggs, catfish, moringa leaves, red oil, or fortified rice.

Poor sanitation, lack of toilets, too many children in one family, short intervals between pregnancies, and giving birth at too young or too old an age are also some of the factors causing stunting in children. “Interventions to reduce stunting in these areas can be done through the use of contraceptives. We can promote the use of contraceptives. Because spacing the time between pregnancies affects stunting prevalence,” he said.

Therefore, BKKBN continues to expand its collaboration network, where it has started working with the Kompas Humanitarian Fund Foundation (YDKK) on Monday (13/3), as an organization with the same focus and interest.

“We sincerely thank YDKK for helping to accelerate the reduction of stunting. In accordance with the President’s directives at the BKKBN National Coordination Meeting, efforts to accelerate the reduction of stunting are being carried out in collaboration with all parties,” he said.

The board of YDKK, Anung Wendyartaka, said that the organization, which has been established since 1982, has been actively responding to disaster emergencies. The health and education programs conducted by YDKK are also implemented to improve sanitation through a toilet-building program.

YDKK has realized the toilet-building program in Surabaya, Solo, Malang, and Magelang. Regarding the community empowerment assistance programs, he said that their goal is to achieve behavioral improvement, and the program can be carried out with a revolving grant model. (Kmb/Balipost)