Bandar Lampung, Lampung (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has stated that prohibiting child marriage could help prevent stunting in children.

"Stunting cannot be addressed from one side alone, but requires a comprehensive approach from upstream to downstream," said Dwi Listyawardhani, BKKBN's family planning extension specialist, during a stunting coordination meeting held on Monday.

She explained that child marriage could lead to the birth of stunted children due to several factors, such as the inability to meet the nutritional needs of children due to the unstable financial condition of young couples and the lack of psychological readiness among young mothers.

"To expedite and measure stunting prevention strategies, it is better to focus on preventive efforts by prohibiting child marriage," she said.

Such efforts are necessary to prevent the birth of more stunted children to mothers who are still too young, she added.

According to Listyawardhani, almost half of child marriage cases result in stunted children. Therefore, efforts to prevent child marriage will continue to be disseminated at the village level.

"There are still many aspects that require attention to prevent stunting in children, and they need to be identified in detail and comprehensively," she emphasized.

Mothers should focus on providing exclusive breastfeeding and age-appropriate complementary foods, she said. Additionally, the conditions of the household environment, sanitation, and access to clean water are also factors that contribute to stunting in children.

"We hope for more detailed, timely, and measured interventions. All stakeholders must participate, and companies can contribute through corporate social responsibility activities," Listyawardhani said.

Indonesia's stunting prevalence decreased by 2.8 percentage points to 21.6 percent in 2022 compared to 24.4 percent in 2021, as reported by the 2022 Indonesian Nutritional Status Survey (SSGI). The government aims to reduce stunting prevalence to 14 percent by 2024.

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Translator: Ruth Intan, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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