Indonesian children still suffer from stunted growth

Children from an Indonesian Primary School.

As many as 8.9 million Indonesian children are suffering from stunted growth caused by malnutrition, says a humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children and families.

Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), a partner organisation of World Vision, says 3.3 million Indonesian children have a lower-than-expected body weight, which may affect their future health and productivity.

WVI communications director Priscilla Christin said on Sunday that among the major causes of the malnutrition affecting millions of Indonesian children was people's tendency to consume instant processed food instead of fresh food.

"We are trying to educate community members that the first 1,000 days of life, starting from when children are still in the womb up until two years of age, is a golden period. Thus, we must take care of children's dietary intake during this period," she said in a campaign event held at National Monument (Monas) park in Central Jakarta, on Sunday.

Priscilla said WVI was working with community members to create a better understanding about the importance of nutrition during childhood for the sake of children's future.

"We have proved that active participation from communities through the activities of various local integrated health posts [Posyandu] are effective in solving malnutrition cases," she said.