Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with several parties, launched the Healthy Children Movement as part of the efforts to handle stunting in Indonesia.

"Now, it is in Jakarta, and we will continue it in the next provinces," the ministry's Director General of Public Health, Maria Endang Sumiwi, stated at the launch event of the Healthy Children Movement monitored online here on Tuesday.

Sumiwi remarked that the movement is a joint effort to prevent stunting that is carried out by providing additional food made from local food to children with nutritional problems.

She noted that the movement was inspired by several groups of people keen on supporting stunting alleviation in Indonesia jointly.

"We welcome the community's interest to jointly contribute to handling stunting," she remarked.

Sumiwi underscored the dire need to make joint efforts to handle stunting, as currently, at least 522 thousand children are undernourished, 71 thousand children are suffering from malnutrition, and 991 thousand children are stunted in Indonesia.

She noted that various movements carried out by the community have supported the efforts of the government, which has been able to equip several health service facilities in Indonesia with a total of 8,800 units of ultrasound devices and 260 thousand units of anthropometric tools.

On the same occasion, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that stunting handling is not a program that is exclusive to the government.

"There is no way that we (the government) carry out this program alone, (it) must be jointly. If not, it will never be complete. It must be inclusive," he stressed.

Sadikin stated that currently, the Healthy Children Movement is carried out by collaborating with businesses, professional organizations, and philanthropic institutions. Going forward, the community will also be able to participate.

Stunting reduction is a priority program of the Indonesian government. The government is aiming to reduce stunting prevalence to 14 percent by 2024.

Indonesia's stunting prevalence declined by 2.8 percentage points to 21.6 percent in 2022, from 24.4 percent in 2021, as per the 2022 Indonesian Nutritional Status Survey (SSGI).

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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