This is because the real stunting at least has three symptoms
Jakarta (ANTARA) - People's awareness about stunting is still low, thus, it will take time and effort to change the public mindset, head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) Hasto Wardoyo has said.

"Not just ordinary citizens, many district heads or mayors do not know what stunting actually is," he noted during a virtual media discussion on stunting on Tuesday.

Childhood stunting is not the same as shortness in height, even though children with stunting are always short in stature. However, children with short height may not necessarily be experiencing stunting.

"This is because the real stunting at least has three symptoms," Wardoyo highlighted.

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First, children with stunting are short in height. Second, they experience developmental disorders, which lead to below-average intellectual capacity.

Third, they have a poor prognosis regarding their health condition, such as being at risk for cardiovascular or other metabolic diseases when they grow old.

There are many factors related to stunting that need to be handled comprehensively, Wardoyo informed.

Around 70 percent of stunting potential is driven by remote factors related to the understanding of balanced nutrition as well as the importance of clean water and sanitation.

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Meanwhile, the remaining 30 percent is linked to close factors, such as anemia during pregnancy.

Spreading knowledge about stunting will be akin to the dissemination of information on family planning in the 1970s, which necessitated greater efforts to change the people's mindset, the BKKBN head remarked.

Knowledge about stunting can be considered to be relatively new given that the World Health Organization (WHO) set the threshold for stunting in 2007, Wardoyo noted.

The WHO considers a stunting rate of less than 20 percent as good. However, President Joko Widodo has set a far lower target, namely reducing stunting to 14 percent by 2024.

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Translator: Rizka K, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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