UNAIR lecturer conducts cross-sectional survey to find the causes of stunting

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Stunting according to WHO is a failure of child growth due to malnutrition, repeated infections, and lack of psychosocial stimulation. The stunting rate in Indonesia is quite high, reaching 30.8%.

Susy Katikana Sebayang S.P., M.Sc., Ph.D, a lecturer of Faculty of Public Health (FKM) PSDKU UNAIR in Banyuwangi decided to conduct a research using a cross-sectional survey method with her team on this matter. The purpose of this study, explained Susy, was to identify the causes of stunting in children aged 0 to 23 months and to inform them about the design of appropriate policies and programs.

“A total of 1,366 children from three districts were involved in this research conducted in 2011. This research is also a European Union funded Maternal and Young Child Nutrition Security Initiative (MYCNSIA) project which was designed to reduce stunting in children under three years and anemia in pregnant women through nutrition improvement and nutritional-sensitive interventions, ” she explained.

The three districts chosen by MYCNSIA project are Sikka in NTT which has the highest prevalence in Indonesia, Jayawijaya in Papua whose social and health indicators are far below the national average, and Klaten in Central Java which has the highest stunting rate. Samples were taken from households with children aged 0 to 35 months.

“The results of this study showed that the stunting prevalence was at 28.4% while the heavy stunting is at 6.7%. The most significant factors identified were household sanitation, household water treatment, and latrines that were not repaired. Other significant factors include male sex, age of older children, lower wealth quintile, absence of antenatal care in health facilities, and maternal participation in decisions on what food to cook in the household, “Susy explained.

In conclusion, Susy and her team showed that household sanitation and drinking water treatment are strong factors in stunting in the population of children aged 0-23 months in Indonesia. These findings add to the evidence on both a national and global scale about the correlation between water, sanitation, and hygiene(WASH) to linear growth in early life.

“This research also showed the needs of more attention on WASH interventions in Indonesia to design health policies and programs in overcoming stunting,” she concluded.

Author: Tsania Ysnaini Mawardi

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Details of research available at 6. 2016 – Determinants of stunting in Indonesian children: Evidence from a cross-sectional survey indicate a prominent role for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in stunting reduction – BMC Public Health – Torlesse, Harriet; Cronin, Aidan Anthony; Sebayang, Susy Katikana; Nandy, Robin

https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84979702240&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&src=s&sid=59adc67eafbca135a01c7ae54e894937&sot=autdocs&sdt=autdocs&sl=18&s=AU-ID%2824068188900%29&relpos=5&citeCnt=17&searchTerm=

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