Need to address stunting causes besides nutrition: govt

BATAMCLICK.COM : The Health Ministry said that handling stunting is not only about providing additional nutritious food, but also paying attention to other factors that cause development difficulties in toddlers.

“What causes stunting is not only food, some toddlers fall into sickness, so this illness must be treated first, or another example, their house condition must be improved,” the ministry’s director general of public health, Maria Endang Sumiwi, said here on Friday.

As stunting can be caused due to factors other than food, its handling must involve many stakeholders, she added.

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“The key is not only nutritional intervention, and other interventions are needed,” she said.

She informed that the Health Ministry has so far focused on providing specific and direct treatment to pregnant women and toddlers for stunting handling, for instance, improving their nutrition through the provision of additional food.

“Toddlers having nutritional problems such as them not gaining any weight, they will be given supplementary food for two weeks,” she said.

If the toddlers have special problems, they are provided additional nutritious food for a longer period or up to eight weeks, while for pregnant women, the period is 120 days.

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Earlier, head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, said that the community needs to be more creative in processing local foods to deal with stunting.

“It is not difficult to find food sources locally for handling stunting as they are abundant, such as fish from the river that is rich in Omega-3 and protein, but there is a need to train human resources on how to process fish,” he added.

He also underlined the importance of the first one thousand days of life, which is key to preparing a quality generation, as well as exclusive breastfeeding of toddlers.

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Sumber : Antara