Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has asked parents to ensure their children get adequate intake of animal protein and protect them from infectious diseases to prevent stunting.
“What is important is animal protein and making sure there is no infection in the baby so that the calories in are not out for the recovery (process) only,” he said at the Ramadan Media Gathering About Children on Tuesday.
Stunting refers to a failure to thrive due to malnutrition in the first thousand days of a child’s life. Adequate intake of animal protein can help prevent children from experiencing this condition. A number of foods are known to be sources of animal protein such as eggs, milk, fish, chicken, and beef.
Those foods contain not only protein but also other nutrients that children need.
In an effort to prevent children from contracting infectious diseases, the government has added vaccinations, especially for diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the most common infections among children, Sadikin said.
It is essential for parents, especially mothers, to have an understanding regarding nutrition for their children, the minister added. In this case, medical personnel need to play their role to help provide nutrition supervision to parents.
He expressed optimism that all parents in Indonesia would do their best to ensure that their children grow healthily.
If a child is already stunted, the government has prepared the handling procedure, including when to take the child to the community health center (puskesmas) and hospital, he informed.
Sadikin added that the stunting rate in Indonesia has currently reached 24.4 percent, which means that 1 in 4 children are stunted at birth. Stunting in children can negatively impact them, including a decrease in their IQ of 20 percent.
Source: Antara News