Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) is providing free family planning (KB) services in North Maluku to suppress the rate of stunting in the province.

"We are offering free family planning services simultaneously in 10 districts and cities in North Maluku province. A total of 1,921 people have been served over three days from January 17 to 19, 2023," head of the North Maluku Representative of the BKKBN Renta Rego said in a statement received here on Tuesday.

Of the 1,921 people served by the agency, 5 opted for the Women's Operation Method, 32 got IUDs, 1,247 received implants, 116 people had their implants removed, 483 people received injections, and 38 received pills, she informed.

The services were offered in a bid to increase the awareness of families on the importance of family planning, which is still largely misunderstood as a means to prevent childbirth.

In fact, family planning services cover efforts to create a healthy generation, which include birth interval planning and maintaining gestational age, both of which are very important for creating human resources of good quality.

"The benefits of the family planning program are actually great for creating a healthy, prosperous, and happy family. If everything is well planned, the chances of creating a family of good quality will be even greater," she said.

Hence, couples of childbearing age must be informed of family planning services in order to realize social welfare. People can get family planning services at the nearest medical facility.

Rego said that the simultaneous free family planning services are not only meant to push for pregnancy intervals, but also an effort to reduce stunting prevalence and use up the remaining 2022 operational budget for family planning.

“BKKBN, with many collective efforts with Indonesian Midwives Association (IBI), will conduct family planning services in early 2023 simultaneously in districts and cities using the remaining 2022 operational budget for family planning and the initial 2023 funding for family planning," she added.

Acting head of Central Halmahera, Ikram Malan Sangadji, said that efforts to conduct stunting reduction must cover both the physical and psychological aspects.

Thus, his administration will provide incentives to assist pregnant and lactating women in meeting balanced health and nutrition needs. It is making efforts to ensure that ATMs in all sub-districts are accessible to people so they can withdraw incentive money with ease.

Other efforts made by his administration include the construction of decent housing and the establishment of sanitation facilities, as well as the provision of clean water for consumption and daily needs.

It has also initiated a program to send medical personnel for training in China in order to create qualified medical personnel to support stunting prevention efforts.

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Translator: Hreeloita DS, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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