Lamongan, Jatim (ANTARA) - The Lamongan district government in East Java Province confirmed having outlined a target of achieving zero stunting in 2020 by encouraging local children to consume more fish to improve their nutrition from early childhood.

To this end, the district government has persistently endeavored to reduce stunted growth among children under the age of five. Last year, the prevalence of stunting in Lamongan was recorded at 14 percent, Lamongan District Head Fadeli stated here on Wednesday.

By the end of this year, the prevalence of stunting in the district could be lowered to five percent, so that Lamongan can achieve zero stunting in 2020, he stated, adding that this prevalence of stunting can steadily be reduced over the past three years.

In achieving this targeted zero stunting, the Lamongan district government will continue to go ahead with its fish-eating movement by taking into account the essential nutrients contained in fish and Lamongan being the biggest fish producer in East Java.

The district's annual fish production reaches some 130 thousand tons, but its people's fish consumption per capita is merely recorded at 45.82 kilograms a year, he noted.

Fadeli is optimistic of Lamongan achieving zero stunting in 2020 owing to the sound cooperation among related stakeholders, such as community members, activists of 'Posyandu' (integrated health services posts), and medical workers.

Related news: Government upbeat about reducing stunting rate to below 20 percent

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines children with stunted growth as those whose "height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median."

In the meantime, Head of the Lamongan Fisheries Office M. S. Heruwidi noted that the fish-eating movement will be focused on the villages of Gagangtingan and Durikendungjero in Ngimbang Sub-district as well as the villages of Plososetro and Paji in Pucuk Sub-district.

Cases of children suffering from stunted growth are still reported in these villages. In Ganggangtingan Village, for instance, eight children experienced stunted growth, while 10 kids with stunted growth were recorded in Durikedungjero Village, he stated.

On the sidelines of his recent visit to Lamongan District, Mahfud, a top official at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, pointed to Indonesia's prevalence of stunting recorded at 36 percent.

"It means that one of three babies suffers from stunted growth. This is indeed a serious concern," Mahfud stated, adding that fish consumption can prevent Indonesian children from experiencing stunted growth, as it contained protein and omega 3.

However, Indonesia's fish consumption per capita is recorded at 50.69 kilograms a year, much lower than 70 kilograms a year of Japan and Korea, he added. Related news: Timor Leste, Cambodia study stunting prevention in Indonesia


Translator: A.Malik Ibrahim, Rahmad Nasuti
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019