Antara, Jakarta – Hasto Wardoyo, Head of National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), said in a statement issued on Wednesday that a pre-conception examination before marriage is necessary to improve maternal health and realize a Golden Indonesia by 2045.
A pre-conception examination is meant to prevent unwanted incidents, such as slow fetus growth within the womb and the birth of stunted children, especially since the latter affects children's intellectual capability and health in the long term.
Preparing for a Golden Indonesia necessitates improving the quality of human resources, such as by preventing stunting. Hence, students must learn comprehensively about stunting prevention, Wardoyo said.
He emphasized that the nation has pinned its hopes on teenagers, especially university students, to give birth to healthy children who are free from stunting in the future.
"Hence, more detailed planning is necessary for realizing a healthy generation," he added.
"This is especially important given that the government is aiming to reduce Indonesia's stunting prevalence figure to 14 percent by 2024, after reaching 24.4 percent in 2021," he noted.
He was also critical of marriage at an early age. The ideal age for marriage for women is 21 years and for men is 25 years.
"Early pregnancy increases the risk of infants being born with a head diameter of less than 9.7 centimeters," he informed.
"Meanwhile, hemorrhaging in mothers who get pregnant before the age of 16 years may occur since their hip diameter would not have reached 10 cm," he explained.
Moreover, mothers who become pregnant too early may suffer from cervical cancer, which can prove lethal for them and their baby.
Wardoyo also advised men to reduce smoking 75 days before trying for pregnancy and increase consumption of healthy food to improve sperm quality. Meanwhile, it is advisable for women to measure their upper arm circumference and hemoglobin levels.