Stunting prevention starts from family level: IPB University expert

Stunting prevention starts from family level: IPB University expert

Dr Tin Herawati lectures participants of a webinar on family planning and stunting prevention hosted by the Jakarta Provincial Child Protection and Population Control Agency. (ANTARA/HO-IPB University).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Stunting prevention in Indonesia can be prevented by optimizing family functions, IPB University lecturer Dr Tin Herawati stated.

"Nowadays, stunting should be everyone's concern owing to its dangerous impact (that may) harm the country," Herawati, a lecturer and the Human Ecology Faculty's Family and Consumer Science department head of IPB University, stated in Jakarta on Thursday..

Herawati made the remarks during a webinar on family planning and stunting prevention held by the Jakarta Provincial Child Protection and Population Control Agency to commemorate the 28th National Family Day and the 494th Anniversary of Jakarta.

Herawati pointed out that the occurrence of stunting was linked to a suboptimal family function. Various researches showed that low-quality breast milk, complimentary food, premature feed of complimentary food, lack of exclusive breastfeeding, as well as incomplete immunization and seldom visits to a community health center (Posyandu) may also contribute to the prevalence of stunting among children.

"Those conditions showed the lack of family functions as (an institution to provide) protection and affection to children, especially newborns up to two years of age. The failure of families to protect their offspring is also evident by the prevalence of child marriage that may increase the number of cases of stunting. Poverty is also one factor that may cause stunting," Herawati pointed out.

Herawati noted that diarrhea was also a factor that caused stunting among children. Diarrhea may be caused by food factors and poor health quality and the environment, another evidence of lacking environmental factors pertaining to foster care in families.

Several offspring in one family is another factor that may be causal to stunting. Due to the lack of reproductive control, a couple may disregard pregnancy spacing and usage of contraceptives to achieve family planning, Herawati stated.

"Hence, to prevent stunting and to realize advanced human resources (in Indonesia), family functions must first be made optimal," Herawati emphasized.

Proper family function and parenting will boost a child's welfare and quality of living. Suboptimal family functions otherwise will fail to satisfy the material and spiritual needs of the family, especially children.

"Failure of family functions will affect relationships among family members, causing lack of parental control on their children and lack of warmth and affection from family members," she remarked.

The webinar was opened by Jakarta provincial Family Welfare Empowerment (PKK) official Ellisa Sumarlin and was attended by Jakarta provincial Child Protection and Population Control Agency Head Tuty Kusumawati. The webinar was also viewed by 1,700 participants from various national and regional institutions. Related news: Preventing stunting vital to reap demographic bonus: FP agency
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