Must improve coverage, quality of stunting intervention: VP

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has called for improvement in the coverage and quality of stunting interventions to accelerate the reduction in stunting cases to 14 percent by 2024. “Despite the decreasing trend of stunting cases in the last four years, we still need to increase our interventions to handle this problem,” he said at the 2023 National Coordination Meeting for Stunting Reduction Acceleration at his office on Friday. Even though the stunting rate for toddlers in Indonesia has declined from 30.8 percent (2018) to 21.6 percent (2022), optimal interventions are still required to bring the rate down to 14 percent in 2024, he highlighted. He emphasized that improving performance in specific interventions requires capable cadres and health workers who can use nutritional status monitoring devices at integrated health posts (posyandus) and ultrasound devices at community health centers (puskesmas). “So the nutritional status monitoring can be done more accurately and faster,” he explained. He pointed out that the consumption of blood-added tablets by young women and pregnant women; six pregnancy checks, exclusive breastfeeding, and provision of nutritious, complementary breast milk food; and complete basic immunization must also be strengthened to reduce stunting. Under sensitive interventions, the Vice President also took into account the issue of food security and improving parenting practices. “Education should be given not only to parents, but also to extended families who take care of the children,” he said. Moreover, he called for improvement in the organization of and increasing the capacity of cadres in the field who have direct contact with the community. “They must ensure that every intervention provided is right on target with benefits felt by the targeted audience,” he said. cceleration in stunting reduction also requires various approaches from formal legal, political, and sociocultural to religious, he added. “Please strengthen intense collaboration with religious-based figures and organizations that are rooted in society,” he said.

Source: Antara News Agency