The deputy mayor delivered the statement in Kupang on Monday.
Man highlighted the role of religious institutions in addressing the problem of stunting in children. He noted that the Kupang city government will issue a regulation in which prospective couples need to meet health requirements before getting married.
The health requirements included age restrictions and body mass index.
The deputy mayor expects the bride and groom to prepare themselves well before marriage, so they could bear healthy offspring, with no stunted condition.
The government has necessitated religious institutions to back up this regulation as a means to reduce the stunting rate.
Bishop Petrus Turang has supported the plan of collaboration between the city government and the church to address the issue.
The regulation could be realized through a course on marriage hosted by the church, Turang noted.
The bishop affirmed that the government could be involved in educating the couples on ways to prevent stunting.
Turang emphasized that to solve stunting issues, health matters were not the sole aspect to be prioritized but also economic capability of the families in question as well as the availability of facilities, including water, electricity, roads, and healthy sanitation.
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He deemed it necessary for the government to push for increased family income through skill-based training and cooperatives.
The Archdiocese of Kupang has appealed to all parishes to instruct each group of parishioners to record the number of children suffering from stunting and assist these children.
Secretary of the GMIT Synod, Pastor Yusuf Nakmofa, stated that in several GMIT service areas, the stunting rate was still very high. Thus, the GMIT Kupang Synod had set a special program and budget in the previous annual session to address the problem of stunting.