The six keys to stunting reduction

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stunting
(Source: Puspensos Kemensos)

Jakarta, IO – Stunting is still a serious problem faced by Indonesian children. Results of the Indonesia Nutrition Status Study (SSGI) 2021 show that our country has the high stunting rate of 24.4%. Therefore, Presidential Regulation Number 72 of 2021 concerning the Acceleration of Stunting Rate Reduction sets a target reduction to 14% by 2024. 

“This is quite a challenging target if you compare it to the global reduction rate of stunting at 0.5% a year in the 2000-2021 period. However, we are optimistic that we can reach this target if we can get everyone involved,” said the National Population and Family Planning Board (Badan Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana Nasional – “BKKBN”) Deputy of Advocacy, Movement, and Information, Sukaryo Teguh Santoso, in the launching of the “It’s Important to Prevent Stunting” public service announcement on Monday (25/07/2022). 

Stunting has long-term impacts, not just on human health, but also on human resource productivity. It potentially causes a 2%-3% GDP loss annually, or more than IDR 500 trillion a year, with the calculation that Indonesia’s GDP in 2021 was IDR 16,970 trillion. 

The most visible symptom of stunting is the shortness of a child’s body in comparison with its peers. However, it must be understood that a short-statured child may not be stunted. Muslicha, Demographic and Family Planning Planner as well as Junior Expert in the BKKBN’s Directorate of Family, Toddler, and Child Guidance, declared that a child is stunted if s/ he is incapable of performing developmental tasks – especially at the ages of 0 to 36 months. “For example, a child may not be able to look out the corner of their eyes, crawl, etc. when their peers should have been able to do so at their age. These are possible indicators that the child is unable to perform their development tasks,” she said.