Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry distributed 300 thousand anthropometric tools to integrated health posts (posyandu) and community health centers (puskesmas) in various regions to reduce maternal and child mortality rates and increase early detection of stunting.

"In the past two years, the ministry was able to distribute 300 thousand anthropometric scales to posyandu," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin noted in a statement from his office on Thursday.

Based on the ministry's report, the fulfillment of baby weighing tools has been carried out in stages at 1,823 posyandu since 2020, at 16,936 posyandu in 2021, at 34,256 posyandu in 2022, and at 127,033 posyandu in 2023.

In addition, the need for anthropometric equipment has been met in 25,177 puskesmas in 2019.

In 2024, the ministry plans to distribute anthropometry devices to 81,512 posyandu.

Sadikin said that anthropometry device was earlier provided to puskesmas, but the provision was expanded to posyandu to prevent stunting in children.

He noted that the total need for anthropometric device in all posyandu in Indonesia reached 313,737 units out of a total of 303,416 posyandu.

The minister noted that this digital baby weigher will monitor the growth of babies to detect stunting symptoms from an early age.

Data from the Indonesian Nutrition Status Survey (SSGI) in 2022 recorded that stunting prevalence in Indonesia had reached 21.6 percent, higher than the WHO standards despite a consistent decline in the last three years.

For this year, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) targets the stunting rate in Indonesia to be at 14 percent.

In addition, Sadikin noted that efforts to prevent stunting cannot be separated from the mother's health condition during pregnancy through the use of ultrasonography (USG).

To this end, his side also distributed USG devices to 6,886 puskesmas in 2022 and 1,943 puskesmas last year. The distribution will continue this year targeting 1,492 puskesmas.

Sadikin remarked that this amount increased as compared to the earlier two thousand units of USG devices from a total of 10 thousand puskesmas in Indonesia.

"From our monitoring, some puskesmas had started to use the USG devices. I am happy that the device is being used," he remarked.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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