Madiun, East Java (ANTARA) - East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa has urged all regional leaders in the province as well as stakeholders to consistently collaborate in efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and suppress stunting.

She made the request at the opening of the highlights of Public Collaboration Month XX and the 51st commemoration of the Family Welfare Empowerment Collective Movement in Madiun, East Java, on July 16, 2023.

According to a statement received in Madiun on Monday, the governor said that the special month can serve as an opportunity to boost collaboration among all stakeholders, including tertiary education institutions, by outlining a comprehensive community service program (KKN) that can suppress the rate of extreme poverty and stunting at a faster pace.

"The national target of 2024 is for extreme poverty rate to reach zero percent, whereas the stunting rate (is targeted to come down) to 14 percent. God willing, East Java can achieve those earlier if collaboration is consistently improved," Parawansa added.

She cited 2020 data from the province's Health Office, which pegged the region's stunting prevalence at 25.6 percent. In 2021, the figure declined to 23.5 percent, and in 2022, it fell further to 19.2 percent, she noted. The governor informed that the latest rate was below the World Health Organization's (WHO’s) stunting threshold of 20 percent.

Related news: East Java stunting rate drops to 19.2%: BKKBN

She said that there was an interesting finding from a professor of science in nutrition—that stunting does not merely denote a lack of nutrition, but also hints at underlying issues within families.

"(The professor) did a survey in one South Asian country, in a village in which usually the children grew up with stunting. Turns out the problem is not just low nutritional intake, or lacking protein and calories. But instead, the lack of love and (attention)," she added.

According to Parawansa, the period of gestation, not birth marks the beginning of life. Hence, a mother must be loved and cared for a lot by her spouse and family.

"So our intervention measure can't just be limited to nutritional stuff. But also on educating about parenting in every prospective family who will be wedded, it must be done (effectively)," she added.

The governor said that the province recorded an extreme poverty rate of 1.8 percent in 2022; hence, she urged everyone to use the collaboration month to bring down the poverty rate significantly by working hand in hand.

Related news: Governor commits to eradicating extreme poverty in East Java

Translator: Louis Rika, S, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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