Pandemic increasing prevalence of stunting: BKKBN

Pandemic increasing prevalence of stunting: BKKBN

A screenshot of BKKBN head Hasto Wardoyo speaking at the 2021 National Family Day webinar, originating from Jakarta on July 8, 2021. (ANTARA PHOTO/ Zubi Mahrofi/KT)

Having children during the pandemic is a really serious concern.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the increase in the prevalence of stunting, head of the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, has said.

"It is a reality we cannot deny, the study of 118 low- and middle-income countries has shown a decrease in gross national income. This has been associated with the magnitude of the prevalence of stunting," Wardoyo remarked during a webinar on 'Fulfillment of Reproductive Health Rights to Accelerate Stunting Decline', held in Jakarta to mark World Population Day on Thursday.

Economic problems caused by the pandemic have gradually slowed down people's purchasing power and the staple nutrient intake of families, he pointed out.

"We need to be jointly concerned about the effects of the pandemic. We cannot ignore them as they are causing many threats," Wardoyo said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a large macro system that certainly has had a significant impact on the smaller systems, in this case, families, he added.

"As the smallest unit in society, families are severely affected by the larger ecosystems due to the pandemic," he remarked.

Wardoyo also said the pandemic has disrupted harmony in families.

In a survey conducted by BKKBN of 20,400 childbearing-age couples, 2.5 percent said they were under pressure, he said. The survey also reported scuffles between husbands and wives, he added.

He called on all societies to adhere to the reproductive rights formulated under international regulations.

"Having children during the pandemic is a really serious concern," Wardoyo observed.

International conventions acknowledge 12 reproductive rights, he pointed out.

The reproductive rights include the Right to Life, the Right to Privacy, the Right to Consent to Marriage, the Right to Decide the Number of Children, the Right to Health, and the Right to Not be Subjected to Cruel and Inhuman Treatment.

"I think this can be implemented in the family function. They can be part of implementing and interpreting reproductive rights positively," Wardoyo said.

Related news: Stunting prevention starts from family level: IPB University expert
Related news: Preventing stunting vital to reap demographic bonus: FP agency