Jakarta (ANTARA) – The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has recommended that animal protein be provided as supplementary food (PMT) to infants and toddlers at integrated health posts (posyandus) instead of biscuits that are high in carbohydrates.
“We have already prepared the Special Allocation Fund (DAK) to provide additional food at posyandus. The fund will be managed by local governments, especially those with low financial capacity,” BKKBN Head Hasto Wardoyo informed after attending the agency’s national work meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He said that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has directed that supplementary foods provided to children aged over six months include local products that contain a lot of animal protein.
Previously, the supplementary food provided by posyandus was in the form of biscuits. In fact, during his monitoring of stunting reduction acceleration, the President said that the consumption of biscuits may not be sufficient to prevent stunting.
“President Jokowi asked us to provide local foods, not (those made by) manufacturers, without containing a lot of carbohydrates. This is very important because local products are not expensive. At least one egg a day is good, catfish is also good. The public doesn’t have to buy tuna or salmon; just buy mackerel with the same nutritional content,” Wardoyo said.
Regional governments have provided the DAK for supplementary food, he added. The funds have been distributed under the supervision of regional teams for the acceleration of stunting reduction (TPPS).
The teams comprised deputy regional heads, cadres of the family welfare movement (PKK), sub-district heads, and village heads, he said.
In addition, supervision at the sub-district level is also being ensured through the obligation to hold one mini-workshop at least once a month. Meanwhile, at the district level, audits of stunting cases must be intensified twice a year, Wardoyo added.
He also asked the public to pay attention to measuring children’s growth and development at the posyandus. It is hoped that the 300 thousand posyandus across the country will have anthropometric devices to measure children’s height/length and weight to facilitate data collection.
“We want all posyandus throughout Indonesia to have the same measurement method. Many regional heads protested the results of the Indonesian Nutrition Status Study (SSGI) released by the Health Ministry because they thought their stunting data was lower than those released. Each region uses its own measurement method,” Wardoyo explained.
President Widodo also emphasized that starting this year, he will not provide assistance in the form of biscuits at posyandus.
He directed all parties to encourage the provision of local foods and provide animal protein to children to prevent stunting.
In addition, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that he had been warned by experts to stop providing biscuits at posyandus and encourage the fulfillment of children’s nutrition through animal proteins.
He was also advised to accord priority to providing eggs, fish, or chicken as animal protein sources, considering that one of the periods when stunting occurs is when children are over six months old and need to consume supplementary food.
Sadikin further explained that based on the SSGI data, the stunting rate will slide to 21.6% in 2022 from 24.4% in 2021.
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