Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture and National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) collaborated to amplify efforts to prevent child marriages to reduce risk of stunting, or chronic malnutrition, that hindered child growth.

In a bid to reduce the risk of stunting, the government launched a program to strengthen marriage guidance, prevent child marriages, and revitalize the Office of Religious Affairs (KUA) in Temanggung District, Central Java Province, on November 8.

According to a press release received here, Thursday, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, remarked that the stunting rate in Temanggung District in 2021 was still at 20.52 percent. The government has targeted to reduce the stunting rate to drop to 14 percent in 2024.

Moreover, 499 cases of child marriages were reported in Temanggung District in 2021, he added.

In order to reduce the risk of stunting due to child marriage, the government has increased education and assistance activities for teenagers. In addition, the government has conducted nutritional interventions for them.

"We are tracking from the most basic factors, specifically strengthening efforts to help teenagers become healthier by distributing blood-booster tablets, because in future, they will give birth to babies," Effendy remarked.

Meanwhile, Head of BKKBN, Hasto Wardoyo, remarked that the Family Assistance Team (TPK) had been deployed to conduct stunting risk reduction programs, including the prevention of child marriages.

Wardoyo noted that women, who got married at an early age, were at risk of giving birth to children with stunting, as their reproductive organs were not ready for pregnancy.

Head of Central Java Province BKKBN, Widwiono, stated that cases of child marriage in the Central Java region slowly declined after the agency collaborated with religious figures and leaders to support counselling on reducing the risk of stunting through the prevention of child marriages.

Related news: UI raises awareness of smoke-free settlements to prevent stunting
Related news: Local gov'ts should complete health services to address stunting
Related news: South Kalimantan successful in lowering stunting rate to 20 percent

Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2022