Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) stated that Bener Meriah District in Aceh Province was selected to strengthen local government collaboration to reduce stunting rates in Aceh.

"If all regional heads could imitate the efforts made by Bener Meriah District to handle stunting, the stunting problem in Indonesia would have been solved," Head of BKKBN Hasto Wardoyo conveyed in a statement received here, Friday.

On January 12, some 12 regional governments from districts and cities in Aceh Province gathered at Simpang Tiga Redelong to discuss collaboration to accelerate stunting reduction.

During the meeting, Wardoyo lauded the local government for making efforts to accelerate stunting reduction in a comprehensive and collaborative manner as well as through mutual cooperation.

Several efforts to reduce stunting were made by the Bener Meriah government, such as through intensifying the Foster Fathers for Stunting Children (BAAS) and involvement of the Aceh Ulema Consultative Assembly (MPU) to disseminate information on overcoming stunting.

Immunization and vaccination achievements, especially BCG (TBC) and Polio in the area, have also reached more than 100 percent and have had a major impact on stunting prevention, Wardoyo remarked.

According to the agency head, if all efforts are made consistently, then by the end of 2023, the stunting prevalence in Bener Meriah will drop significantly. Moreover, the poverty rate in Bener Meriah District, based on data from Indonesia Statistics (BPS), has fallen by three percent.

He remarked that all these efforts aligned with President Joko Widodo's attempt to build better quality of Indonesia's human resources, through a target of reducing stunting prevalence by 14 percent in 2024.

Wardoyo noted that accelerating stunting reduction was one of the efforts to prepare Indonesia's generation to face the demographic bonus of 2030 and Golden Indonesia in 2045.

“Stunting can disrupt human resource development achievements. If our future generation is suffering from stunting, we will not be able to take advantage of the demographic bonus but a demographic disaster," he cautioned.

Moreover, Acting Head of Bener Meriah District, Haili Yoga, believes that mutual cooperation and collaboration between stakeholders will continue to be implemented in an effort to accelerate stunting reduction.

He also noted that in 2022, there were 1,827 stunted children in his area. As of January 2023, the number of stunted children has decreased to 1,639.

"There was a village where previously, 27 children were stunted, though today, it has decreased to seven children," Yoga added.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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