Padang (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) has outlined three issues hindering efforts to improve the quality of children who will hopefully play role in achieving the Golden Indonesia 2045 vision's goals.

"Apart from stunting, we also have issues such as mental disorders and autism," Head of the BKKBN, Hasto Wardoyo, said while delivering a virtual speech at the “West Sumatra Stunting Eradication Initiative With Andalas University” event in Padang on Saturday.

He informed that currently, the stunting rate in Indonesia is capped at 21.6 percent, autism at 4.1 percent, and mental disorders at 9.8 percent. Children, who have either one of those three issues, tend to be vulnerable to drug misuse, Wardoyo highlighted.

He cited data from the 2019 Survey for Program's Performance and Accountability, which showed that 5.1 percent of Indonesian teenagers have tried drugs. The survey also found that out of every one thousand teenagers, seven have mental or psychiatric disorders, he added.

Wardoyo said that he found it concerning when regional leaders were more focused on infrastructure development rather than human resource development.

Hence, it is expected that Andalas University's community service programs, which also aim to reduce stunting, would explore possible solutions to develop and improve human resources, he added.

"This community service program needs to pay attention to human resources quality," he stressed.

Rector of Andalas University Professor Yuliandri said that the program will kick off in July 2023 and end in August, with 5,036 students participating in it. The students will take part in finding solutions to many issues, including stunting.

“The community service program also includes a program to address stunting, as well as (similar initiative) for other issues amid the public," he added.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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