Children and people with stunting have poor brain development
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry urged the public to be heedful of the nutrition of pregnant women and toddlers to avoid stunting that can exacerbate economic conditions of families affected by the illness.

"Children and people with stunting have poor brain development. They cannot be productive like normal people, and they will receive a low income. This means that stunting is related to poverty," the ministry's acting director of maternal and child nutrition, Ni Made Diah, noted during an online seminar followed here, Tuesday.

Diah remarked that pregnant women without sufficiently balanced nutrition are likely to give birth to children, with stunting conditions, and are vulnerable to various diseases. These conditions will impact the children's daily lives, including when they become adults and start working. With their stunting condition, they will receive a low salary.

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"If you want to get out of poverty, pay attention to the nutrition of children and pregnant women, so they can be healthy and have good brain development. With that, they can be productive and continue to live a better life with a better economic level than now," she remarked.

Based on results of the 2021 Indonesian Nutrition Status Survey (SSGI), the national prevalence of stunting has reached 24 percent. West Java, East Java, Central Java, and North Sumatra were the provinces with the highest cases of stunting. Although the trend of stunting has decreased since 2013, accelerated efforts were needed to achieve the stunting rate target of 14 percent in 2024, Diah remarked.

In order to reduce stunting rates as well as maternal and child mortality, the Ministry of Health is committed to altering the health system through primary service transformation, referral service transformation, health resilience system transformation, health financing system transformation, health human resources transformation, and health technology transformation.

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"We prioritize this program starting with anemia and pregnancy screening in young women," she remarked.

During pregnancy, the ministry also conducts gestational screening, including for the administration of iron supplement tablets and the provision of additional food. Moreover, the ministry monitors growth and development in toddlers, exclusive breastfeeding, and handles toddlers will nutritional problems, as well as provides education to young females, pregnant women, and families of toddlers.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Resinta S
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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