Preventing stunting in children for a bright future

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dr. Dana Nur Pribadi, Sp.A(K)
dr. Dana Nur Pribadi, Sp.A(K) (Source: GD)

Jakarta, IO – Stunting is not simply a matter of height. Stunting is a serious problem, because it has an impact on children’s cognitive development, a fact which ultimately affects the life of the nation, both in terms of productivity and the country’s economy. One of the criteria for optimal child growth is height according to stages of a child’s age. When a child’s height is lower than that of the average child his/her age, parents are immediately worried that their child might be stunted. 

In fact, “Not all short children are stunted, but stunted children are definitely short,” said dr. Dana Nur Pribadi, Sp.A(K), in the #GoodTalkSeries held by Good Doctor, in collaboration with Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI) regional representative Bogor, Depok, and Sukabumi and Sari Husada, Friday (17/6/2022). 

To ensure that children are not stunted or abnormally short, parents should regularly check their children’s health at health facilities, where the child’s height and weight will be measured. “Measurements must be taken properly, without wearing footwear or headgear. After that, a child’s weight is compared to their height, to determine whether it is proportional or not. If the child’s height is below minus 2, it means the child is short, but not necessarily stunted. We have to find out the cause by carrying out an anamnesis. The doctor will ask about environmental factors, such as pollution and cigarette smoke, nutritional factors such as adequate nutrition not, the nutrition is sufficient but the composition is not balanced, nutrition is excessive, there might be an undiagnosed chronic infectious disease such as tuberculosis, malignancy, or thalassemia,” said dr. Dana. 

This pediatric endocrinologist said, “Stunting is caused by inadequate nutritional intake or chronic disorders that cause nutrient intake to fail to be absorbed properly by the body for growth and development. The difference between stunting and other short bodies can be seen from various factors, such as a syndrome, bone disorder, hormonal or genetic disorders. Short stature caused by those factors is not considered stunting.”