Stunting is chronic malnutrition that interferes with the growth of children, thereby causing their bodies to grow shorter than others of their age.
"Stunting is a problem that creates a disruption and obstacle to the realization of Golden Indonesia 2045," BKKBN Head Hasto Wardoyo stated at the launch of "Penting," a program for college students for tackling child stunting, on the BKKBN Official YouTube channel here on Friday.
Wardoyo expounded that stunting can occur if in the first thousand days of an infant's life, it experiences poor health or nonoptimal nutritional situation, so it fails to grow and develop fully, thereby increasing its susceptibility to diseases.
The BKKBN head believes that the problem of stunting will affect the quality of human resources in future, so the government is attempting to prevent and handle stunting.
"Unfortunately, the understanding of (childhood) stunting is still low," Wardoyo remarked.
According to the BKKBN head, the program aims to support endeavors to improve the community's understanding of meeting the nutritional needs and the prevention and care of stunting.
Wardoyo expounded that students involved in the program are expected to convey information about the children's nutritional needs and stunting prevention to the community.
Coordinating Deputy for Health Quality Improvement and Demographic Development of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture Agus Suprapto stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused the poverty rates to rise.
He noted that the increasing poverty rates had thrown new challenges in dealing with nutritional problems in children.
"We must continue to fight hard to overcome TB (tuberculosis) and stunting. We must not give up during the pandemic. We must work together," he stressed.
According to Suprapto, the students can support the prevention and handling of stunting in areas where cases of stunting are still high, such as the provinces of West Java, East Java, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.
Director General of Learning and Student Affairs of the Ministry of Education, Aris Junaidi, stated that the Student's Stunting Care Program is implemented through the thematic lectures of real work activities, which are regularly held in the Kampus Merdeka Program.
"This program is in line with the essence of the Kampus Merdeka Program (freedom in learning), which is driven by students, a form of universities' Tri Dharma (responsibilities) in providing solutions to problems existing in the community," he remarked.
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