Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health has asked the community to help protect pregnant women from anemia in a bid to prevent stunting among Indonesian children.

If a pregnant woman is suffering from anemia, the nutrition that enters the child's body will be insufficient for the growth of the child, Director General of Public Health Maria Endang Sumiwi said at a press conference on the #HealthyPregnantWomen National Movement, which was followed online on Tuesday.

"Since in the womb, the child's growth has started. Thus, mothers must be able to ensure the nutrition that enters the body. Pregnant women should not suffer from anemia," she added.

She further said that it is essential for pregnant women to eat the recommended diet and monitor their body weight.

Meanwhile, Director for Health Promotion and Community Empowerment at the ministry Widyawati said that stunting is one of the focuses of the government that must be handled now.

The focus on handling stunting is aimed at ensuring that Indonesian children grow and develop optimally and maximally, with good emotional, social, and physical abilities to learn and innovate and compete at the global level.

She expressed the hope that the #HealthyPregnantWomen National Movement would boost people's awareness to support the health of pregnant women.

In addition, she said she hopes that the movement would improve pregnant women's awareness regarding undergoing at least six antenatal care (ANC) checks—twice with a doctor— during pregnancy and consuming a balanced diet.

"We expect 10 thousand health facilities, which include community health centers (puskesmas), hospitals, and other private facilities, to support this Healthy Pregnant Women movement," she said.

Data from the Indonesian Nutrition Status Study (SSGI) in 2021 put the prevalence of childhood stunting in Indonesia at 24.4 percent. The government is aiming to reduce it to 14 percent by 2024, as per Presidential Decree Number 72 of 2021 concerning stunting reduction acceleration.

Related news: BKKBN encourages breastfeeding to prevent stunting in children
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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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