Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The Health Office of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is focusing its stunting handling efforts on 19,291 children aged under two in a bid to reduce the prevalence of childhood stunting in the province.

"Our focus for stunting handling is directed at 19,291 under-two children because those aged 3–5 years were also intervened but did not give significant results," Head of the Public Health Division of the NTT Health Office Iwan Pelokilla informed here on Tuesday.

He explained that as of August 2022, the number of stunting cases in NTT stood at more than 77 thousand, and 19,291 of them were children aged under two.

According to him, children under the age of two are being prioritized for the intervention due to a higher chance of getting significant results.

The steps being taken to prevent and handle stunting include providing complementary foods for children, giving at least 90 tablets of iron supplements to women during pregnancy, providing supplementary foods for pregnant women with chronic energy deficiency and malnourished babies, and conducting routine body weight measurements, he explained.

Pelokilla further said that the provision of local-based supplementary foods has started in five districts, namely Kupang, East Manggarai, Central Sumba, and West Manggarai.

Among the local commodities that are being used for the local-based supplementary foods are Moringa leaves, which are being processed into powder and mixed with foods.

As of August 2022, NTT's stunting prevalence stood at 17.7 percent, he noted. Interventions are being made to bring down this figure.

"These intervention efforts that are focused on under-two children are part of the strategy that is expected to give significant results in efforts to handle stunting in NTT," he said.

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Translator: Aloysius Lewokeda, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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