Jakarta (ANTARA) - Efforts to prevent stunting should be optimized during pregnancy, an expert staff of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture has said.

Agus Suprapto, the ministry's expert staff on sustainable development, stated on Tuesday that interventions for preventing stunting should be conducted during pregnancy to ensure that pregnant mothers are not malnourished and do not experience anemia.

Intervention during pregnancy became one of the government's priorities, he emphasized.

"In fact, the government also intensifies stunting prevention intervention for teenage girls to ensure that those who will get married and become mothers are in good health and do not experience anemia," he remarked.

According to Suprapto, the problem of anemia became a special consideration in the stunting prevention and handling program since teenage girls that are anemic can potentially suffer from the condition during pregnancy.

If women suffer from anemia during pregnancy, then they bear the risk of giving birth to infants with low weight or stunting.

The government continues to intensify specific interventions in order to reduce the stunting figure to 14 percent by 2024, he said.

The country's stunting rate in 2022 was recorded at 21.6 percent, down from 24.4 percent in the previous year.

"The ministry continues to remind that the effort to expedite the achievement of the stunting figure reduction target is important to realize a quality generation and to support the development of human resources in Indonesia sustainably," Suprapto affirmed.

The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture as well as the Health Ministry and other related institutions continue their efforts to intensify the family nutritional fulfillment movement.

"Nutritional action became one of the priority programs," he remarked.

"This program is intended to remind and educate the people of the various benefits of balanced nutrition rich in animal protein to support children's development and growth," he added.

In addition to children, pregnant mothers become the main target for this nutritional fulfillment program.

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Translator: Wuryanti P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Anton Santoso
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