VP Pushes for Family’s Active Role in Tackling Stunting

By : Nata Kesuma | Wednesday, June 30 2021 - 19:56 IWST

Vice President delivers remarks at the Commemoration of 2021 National Family Day, Tuesday (29/06/2021) held virtually. (Photo by: BPMI Vice Presidential Secretariat)
Vice President delivers remarks at the Commemoration of 2021 National Family Day, Tuesday (29/06/2021) held virtually. (Photo by: BPMI Vice Presidential Secretariat)

INDUSTRY.co.id - Family’s active role is pivotal in stunting control and prevention to ensure fulfilment of children’s nutritional needs since stunting is caused by long-term nutrients deficiency and repeated infections, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has said.

“The family plays a significant role in stunting control and prevention, considering that nutritional problems are closely related to the scope of family,” he said in his remarks at the Commemoration of the 28th National Family Day 2021 as well as the Launching of Vaccination Drive for Pregnant Women, Lactating Mothers, and Children aged 12-18 years old, held virtually, Tuesday (29/6).

A survey from the Indonesian Nutrition Status conducted by Ministry of Health in 2019 reveals that the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of five was recorded at 27.76 percent, adding that more than one in four Indonesian children under five suffers from stunting.

According to Ma’ruf, the Government has taken various measures to reduce the prevalence rate since 2018, including improving nutritional interventions in the health sector targeting pregnant women and 0-23 months old babies. The Government, he added, has also rolled out a number of interventions that support improved quality of nutrition and health for children and pregnant women, such as providing access to water, sanitation, early childhood education (PAUD), access to nutritional food, as well as a clean and healthy lifestyle program.

“All these measures would not be effective if the family did not play an active role in improving the quality of their lives,” he said.

On that occasion, Ma’ruf also ordered the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) to accelerate reduction of stunting prevalence to 14 percent by 2024.

“President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has urged the BKKBN to get actively involved in the acceleration of stunting reduction rate. This order also takes into account the vital role of the family in reducing stunting,” Ma’ruf said.

To achieve the target faster, the Vice President ordered the BKKBN to join hands with relevant ministries and institutions or non-governmental institutions, such as the business sector, academia, and also non-governmental organizations because the acceleration of stunting reduction cannot be carried out by one institution alone.

“This synergy is important because stunting management requires cooperation of relevant ministries and institutions to help accelerate the reduction in stunting prevalence,” he said.

The Vice President cited an example that the provision of clean water and sanitation that has been run by Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing will greatly help reduce stunting prevalence.

“I also urged regional governments to strengthen coordination among sectors and make the most of budget from various sources to ensure that services needed by families are available and well-targeted,” he added.

“Do not let the assistance hit the wrong targets. Once it happens, no matter how much budget allocation provided, we will never reach those targets,” he said.

On that occasion, Ma’ruf also expressed hope that healthcare services for pregnant women and children can continually run during the COVID-19 pandemic while still adhering to strict health protocols.

“I’d like to ensure that nutritional and health services for children and pregnant women are still running so the target for reducing stunting prevalence can be met,” he said.

Previously, at an event adopting the theme “Cool Families Prevent Stunting”, Head of the BKKBN Hasto Wardoyo reported that the Agency is still carrying out stunting intervention activities in an orderly and focused manner despite the limited fiscal space due to the pandemic.

“In this case, we’ve been preparing all women who may become pregnant to be screened related to their nutritional status in a measurable implementation so they are healthy during their pregnancy and the baby is not stunned at birth,” Hasto explained.

In addition, the BKKBN will also oversee pregnant women during their pregnancy to prevent unhealthy fetal growth up until the first thousand days of the baby’s life, he added.

“The BKKBN has also collected 71,856,849 family data in 2021 [heads of households]. Alhamdulillah, we have completed 96.78 percent of data collection or 69,542,868 families. This data includes those vulnerable families or at high risk of giving birth to stunting children,” he remarked.


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