Stunting is caused by chronic malnutrition and repeated illnesses in childhood. It can be measured by comparing young children’s heights with the WHO Growth Chart Standard. A mother in Central Lombok, was devastated to learn that her 2-year-old daughter was stunted. She has been a member of her local integrated health service post (posyandu) since 2000, and decided to learn about stunting. She found that in her village, 25 percent of children under five, or 225 children, were stunted. In 2017, she became a Human Development Worker (HDW) for Generasi Sehat dan Cerdas (Healthy and Smart program), a program initiated by the Government of Indonesia and the World Bank. Now she is more determined to help her community fight stunting.
At Permata Bunda health post in Manahan, Surakarta, Vice President Kalla witnessed the launch of an innovative tool -- a portable “Length Mat” -- initiated by Generasi, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration to measure the height of children under two years of age. Height, a critical benchmark of child growth, must be measured every three months for children less than two years old. The Length Mat gives health workers and parents a visual cue to see if a child is the right height for her/his age, and can be used to differentiate between female and male children. It is used by posyandu to detect stunting early and rapidly identify children who need special attention.