West Nusa Tenggara must address stunting promptly: ministry

Internal Affairs

The Home Affairs Ministry has urged the West Nusa Tenggara government to push for the handling of stunting, citing 2021 data from the Health Ministry, which pegs stunting prevalence in the region at 31.4 percent.

The Family Welfare Empowerment and Integrated Service Posts (Posyandu) have an important role in addressing stunting,Director General of Regional Development at the Home Affairs Ministry Teguh Setyabudi noted in a written statement received in Mataram on Friday.

“It is necessary to optimize the role of the Family Welfare Empowerment and Integrated Service Posts in reducing this stunting rate,” he said at the opening of the 2023 NTB Regional Government Work Plan Discussion.

There must be a collaborative effort by both institutions since their work programs mostly target the community at a basic level, he said.

For example, the Family Welfare Empowerment Post implements programs such as the utilization of house yards to increase food security for families, promotion of food whose ingredients are sourced locally, and home renovation activities to create livable houses, in collaboration with the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, among others.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Service Post runs healthcare programs for mothers, babies, and toddlers; healthcare programs for school-age children and adolescents; healthcare programs for members of the productive age group; healthcare programs for the elderly people; and programs for the improvement of community nutrition; among others.

Setyabudi’s administration is also urging West Nusa Tenggara to reduce extreme poverty, in view of the number of extremely poor people reaching 284 thousand.

Extreme poverty is measured using absolute poverty measures that are consistent across countries and across time. Extreme poverty is defined as a condition in which people’s income is below the extreme poverty line, that is equivalent to US$1.9 a day in purchasing power parity terms.

On a national scale, the extreme poverty rate in 2021 was 4 percent, or 10,865,279 people.

Setyabudi reiterated President Joko Widodo’s directive to push for a zero percent extreme poverty rate by 2024, which was issued during a meeting on July 21, 2021.

He also listed the realization of macro indicators in West Nusa Tenggara, under which economic growth has increased from -0.640 percent in 2020 to 2.3 percent in 2021.

The percentage of poor people in West Nusa Tenggara has declined. In 2021, the poverty rate was 13.83 percent, while in 2020, it was capped at 14.23 percent. However, the region’s poverty rate is still above the national level.

West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zulkieflimansyah said his administration had ‘by name by address’ data at each Integrated Service Post throughout the region.Thus, in 2021, the stunting rate in the region reached 19 percent, he added.

Source: Antara News