Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Riau Islands representative office of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) is targeting to reduce the childhood stunting rate in Riau Islands to 10.2 percent by 2024.

Based on the Indonesian Nutrition Status Survey (SSGI), in 2021, Riau Islands' stunting rate stood at 17.6 percent, head of the representative office, Rohina, said here on Friday.

"In 2021, the figure was 17.6 percent. Then, in 2022, it declined by 2.7 percent, and in 2023, it must decline by 2.7 percent again. Therefore, in 2024, we hope in Riau Islands the figure will be 10.2 percent," she expounded.

There are several programs that the Riau Islands BKKBN will carry out for accelerating stunting reduction in the province, including strengthening cooperation and encouraging policy makers in the regions to support efforts to expedite stunting reduction.

"Then, BKKBN is disseminating (information on) the first 1,000 days of life. Thus, we have formed family assistance teams in every village," she remarked.

Earlier, Rohina said that the characteristics of babies or children under five who are suspected to be stunted can be seen at birth, namely, they weigh less than 2.5 kilograms and measure less than 48 centimeters in length at birth.

According to her, it is important to monitor those characteristics, especially for providing adequate nutrition to babies.

Earlier, Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian urged regional governments to make efforts to accelerate the reduction of stunting prevalence through measures such as completing facilities at primary health services.

"Regional governments, please prioritize the polyclinics and community health centers that are neglected and check what is lacking," the minister said.

Inadequate primary health services would lead to stunting in children, Karnavian added.

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Translator: Jessica Allifia, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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