Nutrition news

Riau Island village governments urged to proactively prevent stunting

Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) – The Riau Islands provincial health office has asked village governments to be proactive in preventing and treating cases of stunting among children in the region.

“Village chiefs are among those at the forefront of stunting prevention because they are the ones who know best the state of the community,” bureau chief Mochammad Bisri said Thursday.

According to him, village governments should collect data on stunting cases in their respective areas by cooperating with community health centers (puskesmas) and integrated health posts (posyandus).

In addition, village governments are expected to allocate a portion of village funds to stunting prevention and treatment efforts.

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He said village governments could use the allocated funds to support the provision of nutrition improvement services in posyandusincluding providing nutritious foods to pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants aged zero to six months and children aged 7 to 23 months.

“For example, if a child is stunted due to malnutrition, the village government can use village funds to meet the nutritional needs of the child,” he explained.

Bisri also described the Ministry of Health’s plan to establish posyandus supported by medical and paramedical staff to coordinate with posyandus in the villages on carrying out efforts to prevent and treat stunting.

“So if there is a problem in the village, for example a case of stunting, it can be followed up more quickly,” he remarked.

He pointed out that managing stunting requires the involvement of government, from higher to lower levels, as well as the community.

The head of the health office informed that in 2021, the rate of stunting in the Riau Islands had dropped from 20% to 17.2%. The government aims to reduce the stunting rate to 14% by 2024.

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