Tangerang, Banten (ANTARA) - The prevalence of childhood stunting in Banten Province has reached 24.5 percent, the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has reported.

Banten’s stunting prevalence rate is higher than the national rate, which is 24.1 percent, Head of the BKKBN's Center for Population and Family Planning, Education, and Training Lalu Makripuddin said here on Saturday.

"There are 12 provinces that are prioritized in Indonesia for stunting case handling. One of them is Banten because the figure is quite high, both in terms of total numbers and percentage, which has reached 24.5 percent," he noted.

Given the high stunting prevalence, it is hoped that all relevant agencies and parties will participate in efforts against stunting so that the national target set by the central government to reduce the stunting rate to 14 percent can be reached by 2024.

"Nationally, the target is 14 percent, and it is hoped that Banten can also reach 14 percent," Makripuddin said.

Cases of stunting in Indonesia are still occurring because there are children or adolescents who are still at risk of suffering from chronic energy deficiency (CED), he explained.

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Therefore, providing assistance or education to prospective young brides is crucial in efforts to prevent or reduce the number of stunting cases.

"The support from Commission IX of the Indonesian House of Representatives, which added the budget for this education program, has been very helpful. Thus, we currently have sufficient budget to carry out dissemination (of information) to the community," he remarked.

According to Makripuddin, reducing the stunting prevalence rate will require not only the strengthening of synergy and collaboration between all parties but also the participation of the community.

"For that reason, we developed the ‘Foster Fathers of Stunted Children’ (program) and developed partnerships with one thousand partners for the first thousand days of life," he added.

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Translator: Azmi Syamsul, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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