Quality care for children crucial in stunting prevention

id Minister,Bintang Puspayoga,childhood stunting,children,care,gender equality

Quality care for children crucial in stunting prevention

Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga. (PHOTO ANTARA/ HO-Kemen PPPA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga stated that quality care for children is the main key to preventing childhood stunting. "Quality care can be offered equally by the father and mother. Parents must be equally responsible and knowledgeable in raising and educating children, especially in paying attention to the adequacy of nutrition and health of children and family (members)," the minister noted in her statement here on Thursday.

According to Puspayoga, parents' readiness to build a family will affect the readiness to have children and in parenting. The minister stated that chronic malnutrition and recurrent infections being the main causes of stunting, her side believes social and cultural factors, such as lack of preparedness in starting a family, can increase the risk of stunting in children.

"There is also a close relationship between stunting and the issue of gender inequality. There are situations that increase the risk, such as child marriage, women's access to education that is still low, poverty among women, pregnant women's health, and the issue of violence against women," she expounded.

To this end, interventions for stunting handling should not only be carried out in the health sector, Puspayoga emphasized. The minister opined that all sectors of development must work together, including in addressing issues related to gender inequality and women- and child-related matters.

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"It is essential for us to realize that stunting issues cannot be resolved if we work individually, let alone (if we) only focus on interventions in the health sector," she remarked. In 2022, Indonesia's stunting prevalence shrunk by 2.8 percent to 21.6 percent, from 24.4 percent in 2021, based on the Indonesian Nutritional Status Survey (SSGI). The government is aiming to reduce national stunting prevalence to 17.8 percent in 2023 and 14 percent in 2024.