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Jakarta Post

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene to save children from stunting

  • Andrio Adiwibowo

    Researcher who completed his Masters of Science in Environmental-Public Health at the University of Queensland

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Jakarta   /   Mon, July 23, 2018   /  01:07 pm
Access to water, sanitation and hygiene to save children from stunting In crisis: Personnel of the Klaten Police distribute clean water for residents of Sidorejo village in Kemalang district, Klaten, Central Java, during the dry season last year. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

On July 23 the nation commemorates National Children’s Day. However, among the many children who might not be smiling are those suffering from malnutrition, particularly stunting.

According to the latest national health figures five years ago, stunting in infants aged 0 to 2 increased from 35.6 percent in 2010 to 37.2 percent in 2013. Among neighbors in Asia, these figures are higher than Vietnam (23 percent), Malaysia (17 percent), Thailand (16 percent) and Singapore (4 percent).

Children who suffer from stunted growth are likely to earn a lower income later in life than those whose growth is optimal. According to the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, stunting can cause Rp 300 billion (US$21 million) in state losses annually.

What are the causes of stunting in our children? In a 2015 paper published inBMC Public H...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.