Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has called on all members of the National Midwives Association to oversee the family planning program and reduce the rate of unmet need.

Unmet need is when the need for couples of childbearing age to use family planning were not fulfilled, which meant that they did not use contraception.

"In this case, of course, midwives have a very important role in reducing the rate of unmet need," the agency's head, Hasto Wardoyo, said
at the peak of the 71st Anniversary of the National Midwives Association, which was accessed online here on Friday.

Midwives also have a strategic contribution in the efforts to suppress stunting prevalence in children, he stated.

"Midwives have a strategic role (to play) in addressing cases of stunting. Midwives are also the backbone of health services at the basic level," Wardoyo remarked.

The agency head pressed to lower the stunting prevalence by around three percent annually until it reached 14 percent by 2024.

To this end, the agency compelled all members of the association to monitor the efforts to prevent stunting by educating pregnant women.

"The trick is to increase understanding and knowledge about stunting among pregnant women, including efforts to prevent it," he noted.

Related news: House lauds midwives' dedication to strengthening health system

The efforts also included preventing pregnant women from contracting anaemia and preventing low birth weight during the antenatal period.

"With synergy and collaboration with all stakeholders, efforts to (pursue) the reduction in stunting prevalence to 14 percent in 2024 will be achieved just like the intended target," he said.

Wardoyo called on the association to participate in monitoring the 12 priority provinces, seven of which were those with the highest prevalence of stunting: East Nusa Tenggara, West Sulawesi, Aceh, West Nusa Tenggara, Southeast Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, and West Kalimantan. The other five were provinces having a fairly high population density: West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, and Banten.

Related news: BKKBN head accentuates critical role of midwives in stunting handling

Translator: Wuryanti P, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2022