Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The Southeast Sulawesi Representative Office of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) reported that Southeast Sulawesi's stunting prevalence declined by 2.5 percentage points to 27.7 percent in 2022.

"The stunting prevalence in Southeast Sulawesi, based on the 2022 Indonesian Nutritional Status Survey (SSGI), declined by 2.5 percentage points, from 30.2 percent to 27.7 percent," Head of Southeast Sulawesi BKKBN, Asmar, stated here on Sunday.

Asmar expressed optimism that the province's stunting prevalence would decrease to 14 percent in 2024 as long as it receives support from the community in Southeast Sulawesi.

Asmar encouraged the community to be heedful during the pregnancy preparation process, throughout the pregnancy period, as well as when children need exclusive breastfeeding and complementary food.

"If we want to reduce the stunting prevalence, do not let (cases of) new stunted children increase," he emphasized.

According to Asmar, the government cannot be singlehandedly expected to reduce stunting prevalence but various parties also need to be involved in the process.

"It needs to involve various parties, starting from business players or private parties, academicians, to the community and mass media," he remarked.

He explained that stunting is a chronic nutritional problem caused by inadequate nutritional intake for protracted periods of time.

"This happens because food intake does not meet the nutritional needs. Stunting is caused by many factors, such as the family economy, illness, or repeated infections. Furthermore, it is also influenced by environmental factors and non-health problems," he pointed out.

Asmar further noted that stunting is also influenced by behavioral factors, especially in terms of feeding of under-five children.

Indonesia's stunting prevalence in 2022 declined by 2.8 percentage points to 21.6 percent, from 24.4 percent in 2021, based on the 2022 SSGI survey of 334,848 samples comprising babies and under-five children.

The Indonesian government is aiming to reduce stunting prevalence to 17.8 percent this year and 14 percent in 2024.

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Translator: Abdul A, Suparman, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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