Health Ministry presses for joint efforts to tackle nutritional issues

Health Ministry presses for joint efforts to tackle nutritional issues

Acting Director of Mothers and Children's Nutrition and Health at the Ministry of Health Ni Made Diah Pertama Laksmi at a webinar on Thursday (November 24, 2022). (ANTARA/Indriani)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Acting Director of Mothers and Children's Nutrition and Health at the Ministry of Health Ni Made Diah Pertama Laksmi emphasized the need for joint efforts to overcome nutritional problems in Indonesia.

"The problems of nutrition cannot only be solved by the government but need collaboration with many parties and partners," Laksmi stated during a webinar organized by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) that was monitored on Thursday.

According to Laksmi, the Ministry of Health is targeting to reduce prevalence of childhood stunting, from 24 percent to 14 percent by 2024. Hence, the ministry is implementing several priority programs before pregnancy and after birth.

Numerous priority programs that are specific interventions include anemia screening among young women, iron supplements for adolescents, encouraging at least six pregnancy checks for expectant mothers, iron supplements for pregnant women, supplementary foods for pregnant women and children aged under five, and promoting the provision of exclusive breastfeeding for babies.

Furthermore, children under five, who experience nutritional problems, get supplementary foods, and those experiencing malnutrition get good management. In addition, the growth of children under five is monitored.

"These specific interventions are priority programs whose coverage is low. Meanwhile, if we want to reduce the prevalence of stunting among under-five children and other nutritional problems, we expect the interventions could meet the targets. To this end, joint collaboration is needed," Laksmi remarked.

The GAIN of Indonesia and the Indonesian government are continuously pushing for a better food system in order to be able to provide more nutritious foods for the most vulnerable groups.

SEAMEO REFCON senior researcher Helda Khusun said interventions for nutritional problems could be conducted starting from school.

"Starting from students getting nutritious foods to screening young women, who experience anemia. In this way, intervention can be conducted from the start," she stated.

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