Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, has said the problem of stunting not only involves the incidence of hunger among children but also includes the problem of maternal and infant mortality.

"Stunting eradication is in line with maternal and infant mortality reduction," Wardoyo stated at a virtual national symposium 0on stunting reduction on Tuesday.

Even today, the incidence of maternal and infant mortality in Indonesia is still considered quite high, he remarked.

The incidence has increased along with the COVID-19 pandemic, making Indonesia a country with a high maternal and infant mortality rate compared to neighboring countries in the Southeast Asian region, he said.

In the case of maternal deaths, out of 100 thousand live births in Indonesia, 305 mothers were declared dead, he informed. Meanwhile, out of 1 thousand births, 24 babies were declared dead, he added.

Maternal mortality impacts children's health because they can be neglected, making them vulnerable to malnutrition which can cause stunting, he informed.

“Say that the children do not seem hungry because they get fed a lot with big portions. But it turns out that the micronutrients do not meet the balanced nutrition, so the cells starve. Food portions are large, but far from balanced nutrition," Wardoyo explained.

Related news: BKKBN invites college students to support stunting-reduction efforts

To prevent maternal and infant mortality along with stunting, a number of attempts are needed, namely strengthening knowledge of stunting and nutrition in families, including paying attention to couples of childbearing age (PUS), he said

Wardoyo said that his agency has also compiled various efforts that will be carried out starting from advising couples before marriage, during the pregnancy period, and the postnatal period.

BKKBN will provide assistance to families, identify families at risk of stunting, conduct audits on stunting cases and family surveillance, he added.

Through these methods, in addition to preventing maternal and infant mortality, the quality of human resources in Indonesia will be maintained with a demographic bonus, he said.

“These efforts are useful to improve the quality of human resources because stunting starts from the couples in childbearing age. Especially for new fertile age couple," he informed./

Related news: BKKBN invites college students to support stunting-reduction efforts
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Translator: Hreeloita D, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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