Minister of Health: Don’t wait for stunted children, intervene upstream

Jakarta, The Indonesia Post – The Indonesian Minister of Health (Menkes) Budi Gunadi Sadikin advised all mothers to prevent stunting in children by intervening early when the characteristics are known.

“Stunting is like a disease that is in stage five, so don’t wait until stunting is intervened, it’s too late. Intervention is upstream,” said the Minister of Health while attending the Healthy Children’s Movement – Inclusive Collaboration of Indonesian Entrepreneurs to Overcome Stunting (GAS-KIPAS STUNTING) event in Serang, Banten, Tuesday.

Minister of Health Budi said that mothers must know the signs of stunting in their children from an early age, one of which is when the child’s weight decreases or does not increase.

“If you are in that position, intervene immediately. Give additional food, it must contain animal protein,” he added.

The Minister of Health emphasized that stunting is the final stage of poor nutrition in children. Treatment is difficult, expensive, and has a low cure rate.

Furthermore, he revealed that stunting can occur due to poor nutrition in babies and mothers during pregnancy.

Poor nutrition in pregnant women, he explained, can be identified by the mother’s upper arm circumference not reaching 23.5 cm, as well as a body weight that is less than the standard.

“That’s why in every stunting management program I always ask whether the mother is being taken care of or not? Stunting is chronic, long-lasting, the mother cannot be underweight (weight),” he said.

The Minister of Health emphasized that handling stunting must be taken seriously, because toddlers living today will become part of Indonesia’s demographic bonus in 2030.

According to him, these toddlers will later become the country’s spearhead in maximizing Golden Indonesia 2045, which will bring Indonesia into the ranks of developed countries that have a per capita income of 13 thousand US dollars per year.

“If it is missed and the income does not reach 13 thousand US dollars per year, then the chances are increasingly small for our children to enjoy life in developed countries,” he said.

Therefore, the Minister of Health appealed to mothers to work together to eradicate stunting in Indonesia, for the sake of a healthy life and a better future for the nation. (mhn/bbs)


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