Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) Head Hasto Wardoyo called on all regional governments to utilize health screening facilities for pregnant mothers in their respective areas to avoid stunting cases in their babies.

"If we want to treat children born with stunting, the success rate is only 20 percent," Wardoyo noted in an official statement received here Tuesday.

However, the success rate in preventing the birth of new stunted babies, through upstream prevention, could reach 80 percent, he said in his speech at the Team for the Acceleration of Stunting Reduction (TPPS) Working Meeting in Banyuasin, South Sumatra, on Monday.

He cited an example of a district, with a population of 100 thousand people, where there will be at most around two thousand pregnant women, and on average, within a day, around six babies will be born and there would be three prospective brides and grooms.

"If I were the district head, I would not leave the office before knowing the condition of the baby that was born earlier, especially its body weight and length. We must then check for anemia cases in those who want to get married," he said.

Those who are indicated with anemia are at risk of giving birth to stunted babies. They must be assisted by the Family Assistance Team (TPK), Wardoyo remarked.

In order to disseminate information on the importance of screening as an effort to prevent stunting, the BKKBN, along with the Ministry of Home Affairs and related ministries and institutions, continue to work on coaching, motivating, and deploying the team to be consistent and sustainable in making efforts to reduce stunting in accordance with their respective roles.

The BKKBN also mobilizes TPPS with the responsibility of coordinating, synergizing, and evaluating the implementation of steps to accelerate the reduction of stunting in the region. TPPS is available at the central, provincial, district/city, sub-district, and village levels, he remarked.

Meanwhile, South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru spoke of having learnt extensively about efforts to prevent stunting, one of which was by giving iron tablets to young women through the local Education Service at schools to activate anemia screening in teenagers.

His ranks have also made various stunting alleviation efforts, such as strengthening databases from sub-districts to districts and cities. The provincial government has also partnered with various sectors, BKKBN Representative Offices, and the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP) to audit not only finances but also performance.

They also activate the integrated health post (posyandu) as the front guard for health services and utilize health workers in villages.

In addition, Banyuasin District Head Askolani stated that to maximize efforts in reducing stunting, his side took steps to expand education related to stunting to raise awareness of the importance of fulfilling nutrition since pregnancy.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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