"Health is very basic. Do not speak about competition with other countries if we have 37 percent cases of stunning," Jokowi noted in his opening remarks at a national working meeting on National Health in South Tangerang, Banten, on Tuesday.
He appealed to all health affairs stakeholders, including local health officers, to address stunning problems across the country.
He lauded the Health Ministry for being able to reduce cases of stunning, from 37 percent in 2014, to 30 percent in 2018.
Jokowi also spoke about the high maternal mortality rate in Indonesia.
"Lest when other countries speak about artificial intelligence, virtual reality, internet of things, big data, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency, we remain busy in dealing with stunning and maternal mortality rates," Jokowi noted.
If the public health improves, the quality of human resources will also become better.
The development of human resources is significant, as it is an absolute prerequisite for Indonesia to not become trapped as a middle-income country, he stated.
Seeking a second term in office, incumbent Jokowi had earlier pledged that the government will next focus on making massive investment in human capital development to produce high-quality and competent human resources after his administration focused on infrastructure development during his first term.
Reporting by Bayu Prasetyo, fardah