Jakarta (ANTARA) - Stunting prevention starts from preconception, before pregnancy, and continues until a child is 59 months old (five years), according to the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN).

"Stunting is not only related to postpartum, but it occurs long before a child is born because the risk of growth disturbances occurs in the womb," said Nopian Andusti, BKKBN's Deputy for Family Prosperity and Family Empowerment, during an online discussion on Tuesday.

Therefore, stunting prevention efforts, he added, need to be undertaken from the preconception period until the child is 59 months old.

In keeping with Presidential Regulation Number 72 of 2021 concerning Accelerating the Reduction of Stunting, the national strategy to accelerate stunting reduction consists of efforts to reduce stunting prevalence and increase preparation for family life, Andusti informed.

The strategy also aims to provide adequate nutrition, improve parenting management, increase access to and quality of health services, and expand access to drinking water and sanitation.

Andusti said he believes it is important for prospective parents, brides, and grooms to have an understanding of reproductive health and family life planning.

"It is important for prospective parents or brides and grooms to have a good understanding and plan for family life, as well as a shared awareness within the family to help the baby's growth and development optimally," he explained.

He added that parents and all parties bear the crucial responsibility of caring for toddlers and children, so this needs to be a primary concern.

"If there are mistakes in parenting methods from the start, then this will have a negative impact on the child's growth and development in the future," he pointed out.

He said that parents and families, as the first and primary caregivers, play an important role in the development of human resources.

"We must understand and facilitate the positive interactions children need, considering the importance of the first 1,000 days of life for the future of Indonesian children," he said, adding that parents and families need to gain parenting skills and knowledge.

Andusti said that BKKBN's Directorate of Toddler and Child Family Development is running a Toddler Family Development Program (BKB), which is seeking to increase the knowledge and skills of parents and other family members in caring for and fostering children's growth and development.

He emphasized the importance of advocacy, promotion, communication, information, and education on parenting in the first 1,000 days of a child's life to accelerate stunting reduction.

These efforts are also important to increase commitment, understanding, and efforts to create the best human resources, as well as to secure dedicated stunting budgets at the regional level and explore additional funding opportunities that can be useful for improving human resource quality.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti Prameswari, Katriana
Editor: Anton Santoso
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