Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi has urged the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) to pursue collaboration in efforts to control population growth and suppress stunting in the province.

"The North Sumatra government aims that in 2023, (the stunting rate will) decline to 18 percent, and by 2024, it will go down to 14 percent, this stunting rate. Let us collaborate," the governor said after swearing-in the head of the North Sumatra Representative Office of BKKBN in Medan on Tuesday.

He cited data from the 2022 National Nutritional Status Survey, which showed that stunting prevalence in the province saw a decline of 4.7 percent, bringing the figure to 21.1 percent. In 2021, the rate was recorded at 25.8 percent, he noted.

Rahmayadi said he expected the new head of the BKKBN representative office to establish collaboration with others in pursuing efforts to develop and control the population as well as prevent stunting.

"Of 100 babies born, 21 (of them) are stunted. That's difficult. We expect zero stunting rate. Nowadays, stunting still exists. (Because children and mothers are) Lacking nutrition, (and people are) getting married too young," he said.

Governor Rahmayadi also urged the provincial agency to carry out its functions and duties according to its mission.

"Their job desc (description) is to maintain population growth, and yet, the reality is from the (initial) 0.9 percent, not it is at 1.10 percent," he stated.

According to him, in the New Order era, people are being constantly educated about family planning. However, this education is yet to cover people from the lower socioeconomic level, he noted.

Meanwhile, head of the North Sumatra Representative Office of BKKBN, Munawar Ibrahim, said that the governor's statement reflects the current reality.

"We have heard Mr. Governor's directives together. I think he gave us (information) that opens our eyes, as it is a reality. That BKKBN's role must be revitalized, that's the point," he said.

He urged everyone, including the media, to take part in efforts to control the population so as to prevent stunting, particularly in the province.

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Translator: Anggi Luthfi P, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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