Data of 2019 shown that there is still 27,7% of Indonesia’s under-5 stunting. Stunting is widely known as impairment of growth clinically shown through the short stature of child compare to his age. Stunting is measured by a height-for-age z-score of more than 2 standard deviations below the World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards median. Child stunting can happen in the first 1000 days after conception and is related to many factors, including dietary intake, micronutrient deficiencies, maternal nutritional status, socioeconomic status, infections, environment and inadequate psychosocial stimulation a child receives during development period. Child stunting also has a higher risk of suffering from chronic illness in his adult.
Stunting can reduce a person’s productivity, since stunting affects other processes in the body such as brain development which affects intelligence and increase risks of non-communicable diseases as diabetes and heart disease. This is the double burden of malnutrition!
COVID-19 pandemic affects increasing number of stunted children in Indonesia. It could be predicted that the target on reducing stunting to 145 becomes difficult to achieve. Posyandu is no longer operate during this time, so for the health workers. This all affects national program to reduce stunting and tackling malnutrition.
The effects of the double burden of malnutrition are not only felt by people. The economy suffers too. Losses due to stunting and malnutrition are estimated to be 2-3% of Indonesia’s GDP. The double burden of malnutrition will also hamper the potential gain from Indonesia’s demographic transition, where the ratio of the non-working age to the working age shrinks. The demographic dividend refers to the accelerated economic growth that begins with changes in the age structure of a country’s population as its transitions from high to low birth and death rates” (Gribble and Bremner 2012:2).
The demographic transition affects labour supply in a couple of ways. The first is the automatic effect of more people of working age means, other things remaining equal, that there will be more people looking for work. Providing the labour market can absorb more workers, per capita production increases. If it cannot, then the large number entering the work force who remain unemployed can become a potent source of social and political instability. What should be a demographic bonus can become a demographic burden!
If the people of Indonesia are to benefit equitably from this demographic dividend then the government needs to ensure that certain supporting conditions and policies are in place and operating effectively. This international webinar is trying to discuss the strategy and innovation to overcome double burden of malnutrition in Indonesia which becomes more serious due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this International Webinar as to celebrate its 58th Anniversary, the Medical Faculty of UKI brings the experts in their fields both from within and outside the country. Domestic speakers such Prof. Soekirman, Prof. Fasli Jalal, and from foreign including Prof. Popkin from UNC – USA, and WHO Rep.to Indonesia.