Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) affirmed that the government's endeavors to lower stunting prevalence from 37 percent to 14 percent is a highly ambitious target to achieve this year.

"Our target is to reduce stunting prevalence from 37 to 14 percent. This is very ambitious. However, we have to work hard to achieve the target," he remarked during a visit to the integrated health post (posyandu) at Taman Sawo, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Tuesday.

The president noted that stunting prevalence in the country has been recorded at 37 percent since 2014 and has been successfully reduced to 21 percent of the total population of children under five in the last nine years.

Despite the reduction in the percentage of stunting in 2023 was relatively small at 0.1 percent, the head of state still commended the regional contribution through the posyandu to respond to this problem.

Jokowi affirmed that stunting eradication does not only focus on food but also on balanced nutrition and adequate sanitation.

"The environment of the village and the surrounding community also has a big influence on water problems and stunting. It requires collaboration and integrated and consolidated work for optimal results," he emphasized.

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Furthermore, the president pointed out that another challenge faced by relevant authorities in realizing stunting targets was the COVID-19 pandemic that hit Indonesia in the 2020-2023 period.

"In the conditions during COVID-19, we have to be careful. The 2.5 years of the pandemic have affected our focus on stunting handling," he noted.

President Jokowi visited the integrated posyandu in RW02 Taman Sawo, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, and Wijaya Kusuma Posyandu in Bogor for the Toddler Weighing Month held simultaneously across the country at 338 thousand posyandu.

Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono stated that the weighing of toddlers at posyandu was effective in identifying cases of stunting.

Additionally, he advised that the food provided at posyandu should serve as an example of what should ideally be consumed at home on a daily basis.

"Food must have enough rice with sufficient animal protein, such as eggs, fish, chicken, beef, or others," he reminded.

Related news: Mass weighing of toddlers effective in stunting identification: govt

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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