Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin observed several lingering problems related to efforts to accelerate the reduction in stunting that should be addressed together at the earliest.

"I still note that there are several problems in the field, especially the results of integrated assistance in 12 priority provinces that have been carried out jointly by ministries and agencies," the vice president stated at the 2022 National Stunting Forum event in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The vice president noted that the first problem related to governance was the implementation of specific and sensitive interventions.

"The big problem in governance is coordination. I seek coordination between institutions at all levels of government to be improved," he emphasized.

He urged the governors and deputy governors, district heads, district deputy heads, mayors and deputy mayors, sub-district heads, and village heads to directly lead the coordination for the program's implementation within the scope of their authority.

The second problem is at the forefront of program implementation, specifically actors at the village and community levels, where human resource capacity, availability of facilities and infrastructure, coordination between implementers, and operational support still have to be optimized.

The vice president drew attention to several cadres, who are voluntarily working on the field, to accelerate stunting reduction.

According to Amin, these cadres need sound coordination and division of roles and should be equipped with sufficient knowledge, work tools, as well as operational support.

"Integrated health services post (Posyandu) cadres, the Family Welfare Movement (PKK), Family Planning Counselors, Village Midwives, Sanitation Cadres, Human Development Cadres, Youth Organizations, Health Center staff, and other activists have the potential to be the frontline that we can rely on," he remarked.

The vice president also urged ministries and institutions that structurally have cadres on the field, along with governors, district heads, mayors, sub-district heads, and village heads to strengthen the coordination of activists on the field, increase capacity, and provide support for fulfilling their duties.

On the occasion, he noted that the 2022 National Stunting Forum would be an important platform for evaluation, introspection, and reflection. It is because less than two years are left to reach the target of 14 percent.

"Thank God, the prevalence of stunting has been reduced, from 30.8 percent in 2018 to 24.4 percent in 2021. We are still waiting for the results of the 2022 Indonesia Nutrition Status Study by the Ministry of Health. Taking into account the hard work, smart work, and collaborative work that have been encouraged so far, I hope the trend of decreasing stunting prevalence will also continue this year," he stated.

Meanwhile, Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) Hasto Wardoyo noted in his report that the problem of stunting was still a major cause for concern for the government in order to prepare superior human resources in achieving an advanced Indonesia.

Based on the World Bank data, Indonesia's human capital index is still in the 130th position out of 199 countries, one of which is the quality of Indonesia's human resources that still needed to be improved continuously.

He remarked that the quality of Indonesian human resources was also reflected in the stunting rate that was currently still at 24.4 percent. Based on the president and vice president's direction, Indonesia should be able to achieve a stunting rate of 14 percent by 2024.

"From the several years prior to 2022, the reduction in stunting had never exceeded two percent per year. In accordance with the direction of the vice president, in 2022, it is hoped that the optimization of the reduction in stunting rates can reach three percent, so that it can be projected that it can reach 14 percent in 2024. Hence, we need to work hard in order to achieve this target," Wardoyo affirmed.

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Translator: Rangga P, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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