In an effort to reduce stunting in Indonesia, researchers from the UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing have developed a stunting detection kit called GAMA-KiDS. Consisting of a body length measuring mat, nutritional status discs, and a manual, this kit is expected to help Posyandu (community health post) cadres in the early detection of stunting.
Apart from making children susceptible to disease and infection, stunting can also cause physical and cognitive decline and poor emotional development. As reported, Indonesia is a country with a high stunting rate. Among the potential efforts to address this problem is early detection by Posyandu cadres. Using this kit, they can identify if a child shows signs of stunted growth and quickly determine further steps to treat the child.
“The development of GAMA-KiDS cannot be separated from the issue of stunting, which has been in the spotlight in recent years. If we don’t improve the nutritional intake of stunted children, later in life, they will become unproductive and get sick easily,” explained Dr. Siti Helmyati.
Efforts to detect stunting early, she continued, face a number of obstacles, such as the lack of skills of cadres and the uneven distribution of valid body length measuring instruments throughout the country. Many are self-made by the community and have not been tested for validity.
First developed in 2019, GAMA-KiDS has been piloted in several Posyandu in Yogyakarta and Aceh and will continue to be tested in all regions. Siti hopes that the kit can help accelerate stunting reduction in Indonesia.
“We ensure that each tool has no sharp edges hence safe for children. The nutritional status discs are specifically designed for children aged 0-24 months,” said Siti.