Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) has stressed that collaboration is important for addressing the issue of stunting in Indonesia.

"Government aid in this program is so limited. Hence, cross-sectoral (initiatives) by regional governments must employ convergency and participation in the approach to stunting reduction and Healthy Kitchen to Tackle Stunting (Dashat) at village scope," deputy for prosperous family and family development at the BKKBN, Nopian Andusti, said in a statement received here on Saturday.

During the inauguration of the Dashat program in Jembatan Kecil village, Singaran Pati, Bengkulu, on Friday (July 14, 2023), he said that village residents have strong social ties with each other, so programs to empower people and bring down the stunting rate can be adopted by villages.

He informed that under the program, participating personnel will teach how to cook food for pregnant women and toddlers using local ingredients. The healthy kitchen program is aimed at encouraging everyone to collaborate and prevent stunting, he said

"The Healthy Kitchen to Tackle Stunting is a (combination) of social and entrepreneurial activities to address the issue among people. The social part being granting healthy food with balanced nutrition to families who are at risk of stunting, particularly underprivileged ones," he added.

There are three approaches employed under the program: social, commercial, and a combination of both. The approaches differ from one village to another, depending on factors like the rate of stunting, economic welfare, and access to healthy local food, he said.

"It is expected that the Dashat program can change people's mindset in social affairs, so they would assist and empower each other," he added.

The head of Bengkulu's Women Empowerment, Child Protection, Population Control, and Family Planning Office, Dewi Dharma, said that the healthy kitchen program is one of the many national strategies to reduce stunting by providing assistance to families.

She informed that Bengkulu city has 67 villages and 9 sub-districts. In 2022, 18 villages implemented the family planning program, and 11 pursued the healthy kitchen program, she added

"Stunting is very harmful, both in medical aspect and economic productivity. We expect that Bengkulu province's prevalence rate is (down to) 12.55 percent, and for Bengkulu city's to (come down to) 9 percent by 2024," she said.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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