Around 37 percent of young Indonesian women are at risk of developing iron deficiency and low blood cell count, which is commonly known as anemia, according to the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN).
“Anemia is caused by lack of blood, especially in young women, where the vitamin in red blood cells or hemoglobin is less than 11.5 percent,” BKKBN head Hasto Wardoyo explained on Friday.
Forty-eight percent of young women in Indonesia tend to develop anemia after pregnancy. Therefore, prospective brides must undergo a medical examination before getting married, he said.
Anemia should not be ignored since it leads to mothers giving birth to stunted babies, he cautioned.
“There are three disadvantages caused by stunting. First, children lacking in height. Second, their inability to compete due to the lack of intellectual (development). The third is people suffering from stunting are usually prone to diabetes, stroke, or high blood pressure at an earlier age such as 45 years,” he noted.
He said that counseling and health checks three months before marriage can help prevent stunting from upstream to downstream.
BKKBN, with the Ministry of Religion Affairs and all stakeholders, is continuing to make efforts to reduce stunting rates in Indonesia, he informed.
Currently, the national stunting rate is still above 20 percent, he pointed out.
“For this matter, President Joko Widodo requires local governments to reduce stunting rates to below 20 percent,” he said.
One of the regions in Indonesia, namely Bantul district in Yogyakarta province, has been able to bring down its stunting rate to 14 percent. The region is expected to become a model for other regions in Indonesia, he said.
“With a three-month pre-wedding medical check-up, the bride and groom, especially the 37 percent of young women with anemia, can improve their health condition before marriage,” he added.
Source: Antara News