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Jakarta Post

Stunting in Indonesia: Winning the battle but losing the war?

  • Nageeb Gounjaria


Jakarta   /   Fri, September 18 2020   /  01:00 am
Breastfeeding may help preventing stunting in children.(Shutterstock/-)

About 27.7 percent (1 out of 4) Indonesian children under 5 years of age remain stunted, despite massive efforts by the government. This figure from the Health Ministry's 2019 Basic Health Research (Riskedas) indicates an improvement from the 2018 national average of 31.8 percent. But with a stunting prevalence of 42.6 percent, East Nusa Tenggara – one of the archipelago's most deprived and neglected regions – is perhaps a better gauge of the nation's success, if not trials and tribulations, in its ongoing battle against this scourge. Stunting, a term that conjures up images of film doubles engaged in death-defying moves, actually refers to a condition where undernourished children suffer reduced growth of body and brain. The more conspicuous sign is a shorter stature or low height for age, or a low weight for age in the case of extreme undernourishment, a cond...