Amidst the survey of 33 provinces in Indonesia, only two have successfully reached the targeted prevalence of stunting as outlined in the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN). Those provinces are DKI Jakarta and Bali.
According to the recent findings from the Indonesian Nutrition Status Survey (SSGI) reported by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2022, the national average prevalence of stunting stands at 21.6%. This figure falls significantly short of the national RPJM target, set at 14%.
Alarmingly, 17 provinces still grapple with stunting rates surpassing the national average. The provinces facing the highest stunting challenges include Papua, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Aceh, West Papua, and Central Sulawesi.
In contrast, DKI Jakarta has achieved a stunting rate of 14.8%, and Bali stands at an even lower 8%, demonstrating commendable progress in combatting this health concern.
Stunting is not merely a health issue but carries severe economic repercussions, with potential losses for the nation reaching into the hundreds of trillions. Research from the World Bank indicates that the economic impact of stunting ranges from 3% to 11% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Given Indonesia’s GDP in 2022, totaling Rp19,588.4 trillion, the estimated annual economic losses due to stunting hover between Rp587 trillion and Rp2,154 trillion.
Addressing stunting is a pressing matter, not only for the immediate health of the population but for its far-reaching consequences on other aspects of society. The impact cascades through various sectors, including education, human resource quality, economic growth, and community well-being.
Stunting, referring to a child’s reduced height due to prolonged malnutrition in the first 1,000 days of life, extends its consequences beyond physical stature. Affected children face a higher susceptibility to obesity, making them more prone to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney failure.
The lingering impacts of it may jeopardize Indonesia’s demographic bonus, particularly since the majority of the population falls within the productive age group. Health challenges among the workforce inevitably reduce overall work effectiveness.
Furthermore, stunting can hamper literacy levels as inadequate nutrition affects cognitive abilities. The result is a decline in the quality of the country’s human resources, leading to a weakened absorption of the labor force.
Thus, a concerted effort to address this problem goes beyond health outcomes; it becomes a catalyst for positive transformations in education, the enhancement of human resources, sustained economic growth, and an overall improvement in community welfare.