Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The prevalence of childhood stunting in Riau Islands province has declined to 15 percent this year, according to head of the Riau Islands representative office of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Rohina.

"Even though it (data on stunting prevalence) has not been officially released by the Ministry of Health, this year, Riau Islands' stunting prevalence declined by 2.4 percent compared to the previous year," she informed here on Friday.

Rohina said that the decline in the number of stunting cases was based on the Electronic Community-Based Nutrition Reporting and Recording (e-PPGBM) data, which includes the weight of under-five children and under-two children.

According to her, the e-PPGM data has become a reference for the regional government in handling and preventing stunting in Riau Islands.

The areas with the highest stunting prevalence in the province are Lingga, Natuna, and Karimun districts, she revealed.

She affirmed that several efforts have been made to tackle the problem of stunting in the province.

BKKBN, as the coordinator of stunting reduction acceleration, has formed stunting handling acceleration teams (TPPS) from the provincial to village levels.

In addition, the Riau Islands representative office of BKKBN has also deployed 1,163 family assistance teams (TPK) across all districts and cities.

The TPK cadres have been tasked with assisting prospective brides, pregnant women, and mothers in the postpartum period. The cadres are also assisting adolescents in preparing themselves before they get married or pregnant, or during the post-pregnancy period, among others.

She further said that the cadres are monitoring and providing inputs to prospective brides and grooms to improve their preparation before marriage, as well as providing education on the health of prospective mothers and babies.

The cadres are also educating people on the nutritional fulfillment of children in the first 1,000 days of life.

"Likewise with assistance to adolescents, such as (providing education) regarding reproductive health and so on," she added.

Rohina said that regional governments and relevant stakeholders will need to get involved to help achieve the province's target of reducing stunting prevalence to 10.2 percent by 2024.

"We are optimistic that the collaboration of all parties can reduce the risk of stunting that can reduce the quality of human resources, especially in Riau Islands," she added.

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Translator: Ogen, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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