Stunting is a condition that arises from prolonged under-nutrition and it affects physical and brain development. It’s defined as shortness in height for a child’s age and it can only be diagnosed by comparing the child’s measurements to standardized growth charts.
The first 1000 days of a child’s life (i.e. from conception to age two) is an opportunity to establish a foundation for a child’s academic success, health and general well-being. However, it is also a period of vulnerability to stunting.
Why are we concerned about stunting?
1 in 3 of Indonesia’s children under the age of five years old are stunted. Stunting robs young children of their full potential. Stunted children on average perform worse at school than their non-stunted counterparts, are more likely to be unemployed as adults, are at higher risk of getting diseases like diabetes and hypertension. They are vulnerable to being trapped in an inter-generational cycle of poverty. This is unjust as stunting is completely preventable.
What prevents stunting?
The first 1000 days of life are a key time for development and growth. Mothers and babies need good nutritious food, high quality healthcare and a clean & healthy environment to flourish.