Foster Father in Stunting Prevention?

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Dr. Ni Ketut Aryastami, MCN, MSc
Dr. Ni Ketut Aryastami, MCN, MSc, Researcher from Research Center for Public Health and Nutrition, National Research and Innovation Agency.

Jakarta, IO – National Family Day is a harbinger of momentum for the government (BKKBN) to accommodate the concept of mutual cooperation, according to the President’s direction, in an effort to accelerate stunting reduction. Is it appropriate? 

Government Intervention 

Stunting in Indonesia is widely known as a public health problem. The government has set two types of policies, namely, sensitive and specific intervention. Sensitive intervention is oriented towards efforts to overcome non-health determinants that can be a fundamental risk factor for stunting in the first 1000 days of life; for example economic factors, education, food availability, environmental health, and access to potable water. 

Specific interventions focus more on health consequences of the longterm impact of malnutrition, namely, prevention of low birth weight in newborns, encouraging mothers to exclusively breastfeed, administering basic immunizations for babies, optimal complementary feeding, iron tablet supplementation and preventing chronic energy malnutrition in pregnant women by providing a proper nutritional intake. 

The ultimate goal of the intervention is to improve the quality of human resources, so that babies born can become part of a golden generation, throughout their reproductive age in later years. The Penta-helix concept integrates policy-makers in a continuous joint effort, involving multi-sectors of government, academia, global and national business agencies, communities, as well as media, as a twisted cord in the effort to achieve the goal of accelerating stunting reduction to 14%, by 2024. 

The efforts to accelerate stunting reduction have been echoed since 2013, given the high prevalence of the problem of 37.7, far above the 20% threshold set by the WHO. As of 2018, the prevalence of stunting in Indonesia was still high, although a decline to 30.8% has been noted. In fact, in November 2017 the government launched the National Buzz ‘Gebrak’ of Stunting, which was followed up with efforts to accelerate stunting reduction, with a clearer focus of determining the locus of intervention at the district/ city level, accumulatively by year of stages.