Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) collaborates with one thousand midwives in Yogyakarta to expedite the reduction in the country's stunting figure.

Intervention from midwives is deemed to be effective to reduce the stunting figure in accordance with President Joko Widodo's target of up to 14 percent by 2024, Head of BKKBN Hasto Wadoyo noted through a statement on Monday.

"The president called to reduce stunting to 14 percent in 2024, but worryingly, the figure remains quite high," he said.

Some 37 percent of teenagers were anemic, according to the result of Basic Health Research in 2018, he remarked.

Moreover, the number of anemic pregnant mothers still reached 48 percent, infants born with body height less than 48 cm stood at 22.6 percent, while infants born prematurely were pegged at 29.45 percent.

The causes of stunting include lack of attention to balanced nutrition that leads to a lack of protein in children and results in growth failure, he noted.

To this end, the agency initiated the one thousand midwives education program in Yogyakarta and stunting intervention with the Dexa Group in Sleman District, Sunday.

Head of the Yogyakarta Health Office Pembajun Setyaningastutie acknowledged that the role of midwives is crucial in reducing the stunting figure, as they are tasked with assisting pregnant mothers.

She believes that participants of the one thousand midwives education program play a role in stunting prevention in Indonesia and they can learn and contribute vital ideas for stunting prevention within the program.

Head of the Yogyakarta Indonesian Midwife Association Sutarti expressed her readiness to participate in the stunting reduction program in Indonesia.

The association has 1,852 midwives, she noted.

"We are grateful to be trusted in helping the government's program in stunting prevention. Our concrete steps on the field are data collection and assistance to future couples, pregnant mothers, and post-childbirth," she remarked.

Meanwhile, President Director of Dexa Medica V Hery Sutanto noted that to support the stunting reduction program in Indonesia, the company is developing various health supplements from herbal ingredients for mothers and infants.

"From the four health independence programs, we are focusing on herbal medicine development. Currently, we have 200 researchers for the development of Indonesian domestic herbal medicines," he remarked.

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Translator: Luqman Hakim, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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