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Stunting: Indonesia's best-kept secret

Marcel Thee

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, July 17, 2019  /  04:24 pm
Stunting: Indonesia's best-kept secret

Growing up: A 1000 Hari volunteer explains the features of a height chart to a mother in Rinca, on the fringes of Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara. The province has a high stunting prevalence of 43 percent. (Gumilang Aryo Sahadewo/-)

Stunting was thrust into the spotlight during a debate between two then-vice-presidential candidates, Ma’aruf Amin and Sandiaga Uno.  That moment in the televised debate brought attention to the issue. However, stunting prevention activist Zack Petersen says that most Indonesians do not realize how far-reaching the problem is in the country. “Indonesia's best-kept secret is not its pristine beaches, rugged volcanoes or picturesque island getaways but its stunting rates, which sit on par with sub-Saharan Africa,” Petersen said, referring to Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zambia. Petersen and his team at the 1000 Hari (1000 Days) initiative have been working to educate the public on stunting, which impacts one in three children in the country. The impacts of stunting, as Petersen noted, goes beyond just health issues. Given their poor cognitive abilities, st...