Jakarta (ANTARA) - The prevalence of childhood stunting declined in as many as 28 Indonesian provinces in 2022, supporting a 2.8-percent fall in national stunting prevalence, according to the Ministry of Health.

"There are 3 provinces that experienced the largest decrease in terms of proportion, namely South Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, and South Sumatra," head of the ministry's Health Development Policy Agency Syarifah Liza Munira informed at a press conference on the Indonesian Nutritional Status Survey (SSGI) 2022 here on Friday.

South Kalimantan's stunting prevalence declined from 30.0 percent in 2021 to 24.6 percent in 2022, North Kalimantan's stunting prevalence fell from 27.0 percent to 22.1 percent, and South Sumatra’s from 24.8 percent to 18.6 percent.

In addition, the government's intervention helped push a decline in stunting prevalence in several provinces with the largest population of children, including West Java, where the rate fell from 24.5 to 20.2 percent, and East Java, where the rate slid from 24.8 percent to 19.2 percent.

Interventions to reduce stunting prevalence have been carried out by the ministry through several work programs, such as anemia screening, pregnancy checks, and the supervision of the growth of under-five children, Munira explained.

To tackle anemia in pregnant women, which is one of the causes of stunting in babies, the Ministry of Health is providing iron supplements to adolescent girls and pregnant women as well as giving supplementary food to pregnant women with chronic energy deficiency.

The ministry is also promoting the exclusive breastfeeding of babies and complementary foods that are rich in animal proteins for children aged under two, supporting the management of malnourished under-five children, increasing immunization coverage, and educating adolescents with the help of other ministries and agencies.

In 2022, Indonesia’s stunting prevalence shrunk by 2.8 percent to 21.6 percent from 24.4 percent in 2021, based on the SSGI survey, which covered a sample comprising 334,848 babies and under-five children.

The government is aiming to reduce national stunting prevalence to 17.8 percent in 2023 and 14 percent in 2024.

Based on the Health Ministry's report, 6 provinces recorded an increase in stunting prevalence in 2022: West Sulawesi, Papua, West Nusa Tenggara, West Papua, West Sumatra, and East Kalimantan.

The incidence of stunting in West Sulawesi increased from 33.8 to 35.0 percent, Papua from 29.5 to 34.6 percent, West Nusa Tenggara from 31.4 to 32.7 percent, West Papua from 26.2 to 30.0 percent, West Sumatra from 23.3 to 25.2 percent, and East Kalimantan from 22.8 to 23.9 percent.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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