Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has emphasized the importance of efforts to prevent stunting from the pre-marriage period, such as by ensuring that prospective brides and grooms are physically and mentally ready.

"The problem of stunting is a problem regarding how to prepare for pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy. It is important, so that in marriage, it must be seen whether those who want to get married are really ready both physically and mentally," he stated here on Wednesday.

Jokowi made the statement after opening the 2023 National Working Meeting on the Family Development, Population, and Family Planning Program and the Stunting Reduction Acceleration.

The president said that if anemia in the prospective bride is not addressed, then the baby will be at risk of stunting.

According to the head of state, it is easier to prevent stunting before pregnancy. After the baby is born, stunting will be harder to resolve, he added.

Indonesia's stunting prevalence decreased from 24.4 percent in 2021 to 21.6 percent in 2022.

The government is aiming to reduce the prevalence to 14 percent in 2024.

Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) Hasto Wardoyo stated that early marriage is one of the factors behind stunting in children.

He said that early marriage will be followed by early childbearing.

If their nutritional needs are not fulfilled, he said, then women, who get pregnant at an early age, are at risk of giving birth to malnourished children.

The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) recorded that in 2021, some 59,709 cases of early marriage were carried out with court dispensations, a decrease from 64,211 cases in 2020.

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Translator: Desca Lidya, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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