I commend the ‘Inspirational Midwife for the Country’ (program), this is extraordinary
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Midwives are playing an important role in assisting families to support childhood stunting reduction efforts in Indonesia, the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has said.

"The midwives' contribution to efforts to reduce the stunting rate can be initiated from the prevention process through family approaches and assistance," Director of Quality Development at the BKKBN’s family planning office, Martin Suanta, said at the “Inspirational Midwife for the Nation” program, here on Saturday.

The agency commended the program, which has been organized by the government and the private sector this year. The program is a combination of two similar programs hosted in West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Aceh, South Sulawesi, Banten, South Sumatra, Southeast Sulawesi, and Papua.

This year, the program will be conducted in 4 of the 12 provinces targeted for the Stunting Reduction Program. The program is expected to engage the community firsthand, especially in remote areas where maternal and child health problems are rampant.

"I commend the ‘Inspirational Midwife for the Country’ (program), this is extraordinary," Suanta said.

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Stunting prevention starts by ensuring that the condition of every bride or couple of childbearing age is ideal for marriage and pregnancy. To achieve this, the agency has set up family assistance teams comprising midwives.

The teams assist prospective couples, including by checking their health before marriage, and getting their data registered in the Electronic Ready for Marriage Ready for Pregnancy or Elsimil application.

Prospective brides or couples of childbearing age also receive guidance on marriage, specifically stunting prevention. One of the focuses during mentoring is meeting the nutritional needs of prospective brides or couples of childbearing age in a bid to prevent chronic energy deficiency and anemia, some of the risks that can lead to the birth of stunted children.

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Preventing stunting is important to create good human resources for Indonesia in the future. Stunting does not only result in stunted physical development, but also leads to less-than-optimal brain development, which can interfere with a person’s productivity and creativity.

The program, which is the result of a collaboration between the National Population and Family Planning Agency, PT Kimia Farma, and the Dompet Dhuafa Foundation, is expected to create a generation of great people, or a demographic bonus, by 2045, chairman of the board of trustees of the Dompet Dhuafa Foundation, Rahmad Riyadi, said.

Meanwhile, director of human resources at Kimia Farma, Dharma Syahputra, said the program puts emphasis on the duty of midwives, who have a direct impact on public health services.

"If midwives help, they are given a place and space, given appreciation (to encourage them to) make service innovations and health promotion can be done better; hopefully, this can help the community," Syahputra added.

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Translator: Nanien Yuniar, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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