During teenage years, teenagers should not be anemic, and mothers should have sufficient nutritional intake during pregnancy
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin emphasized that the provision of blood-booster tablets (TTD) and the implementation of a healthy lifestyle should be encouraged from an early age to prevent babies from being born stunted.

"If the parents are unhealthy, then the baby will be born with stunting. Health has many dimensions, but I give priority to health, as it can lead to stunting. During teenage years, teenagers should not be anemic, and mothers should have sufficient nutritional intake during pregnancy," Sadikin stated at the 2022 National Nutrition Movement in Jakarta, Wednesday.

The minister's statement aligns with the stunting description on the ministry's official page stating that the problem of chronic malnutrition caused by the lack of nutritional intake for a long time resulted in growth disorders in children, with the child's height being shorter than the standard age.

He noted that currently, several teenage girls suffered from anemia and chronic energy deficiency (KEK). As a result, while entering pregnancy, several families have the potential to give birth to children with stunting.

Another urgency that must be considered is that stunting can reduce a child's IQ or intelligence quotient by 20-30 percent, he added.

Sadikin said stunting can be prevented if teenage girls routinely take blood-booster tablets. This can help to maintain the hemoglobin (Hb) level of the mother-to-be to be above 12 g/dL.

"If the hemoglobin level is below 12, then they must take blood-booster tablets to avoid anemia during pregnancy and give birth to healthy baby," he remarked.

The consumption of blood-booster tablets must be accompanied by routine health checks at the community health center (puskesmas). The minister ensured that blood-booster tablets can be accessed free at puskesmas.

Teenagers are also advised to lead a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritious foods, such as chicken liver, fish, and eggs, Sadikin added.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more important than treating illness. Stunting will make our children unintelligent. Teenagers must conduct blood checks. There is a correlation between body health and blood counts," he remarked.

The minister also reminded that Indonesia will enter the era of demographic bonuses that was predicted to occur in 2030. In that year, the productive age population will dominate the percentage of the total population.

Hence, he advised the public to maintain health from a young age to utilize the demographic bonus and increase income and facilitate development of the country.

“This will depend a lot on the health conditions of all of you. Hence, for those who are males and have younger sisters, please remind them to routinely conduct blood tests,” Sadikin added.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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