Stunting prevention can be carried out from upstream to downstream, from before marriage to the first 1,000 days of a child’s life,
Jakarta (ANTARA) – Stunting prevention efforts must be carried out sustainably, starting from before marriage to the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said.
“Stunting prevention can be carried out from upstream to downstream, from before marriage to the first 1,000 days of a child’s life,” he said in a statement released here on Wednesday.
Upstream prevention includes ensuring the health of adolescent girls and prospective brides so that after marriage and when they get pregnant, they are in good health, he explained.
He further said that health screening needs to be carried out to detect malnutrition or anemia because anemia in pregnant women is believed to affect fetal growth.
To this end, he asked regional governments, especially village governments, to continuously educate, assist and check the health of adolescent girls and pregnant women in their respective regions.
If, based on the health screening, the potential for anemia is detected, women and girls need to be educated, assisted, and provided blood-booster tablets, the minister said.
He added that if a child is already stunted, they need to be handled optimally through specific and nutritional interventions that are right on target.
He explained that specific nutritional interventions involve handling the direct causes of stunting.
“They include the provision of exclusive breastfeeding, the provision of complementary foods, Vitamin A supplements, micronutrient supplements, and zinc and iron supplements,” he said.
Meanwhile, sensitive nutritional interventions involve handling the indirect causes of stunting.
“Sensitive nutritional interventions include prevention and treatment of sick under-five children, the management of moderate and severe acute malnutrition cases, the provision of water and sanitation facilities, and the administration of deworming medicines,” he informed.
The minister highlighted that regional governments play a crucial role in carrying out stunting prevention and handling efforts in their respective regions.
“Regional heads, especially village heads, must know how many pregnant women must be monitored and be given interventions so that their pregnancy is healthy and smooth and are expected to give birth to a healthy and quality generation,” he remarked.
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