Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. “11.2% of marriages in Indonesia are recorded under the age of 17. This figure makes Indonesia ranks seventh in cases of child marriage in the world,” said Siti Komsiah, in a Seminar on BRIN Talent Scouting: Post-doctoral & Visiting Researchers (series 5), Thursday (17/03). In the research seminar held by the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), she asserted that when referring to ASEAN data, Indonesia ranks second.

“As a result of this case, problems arise; stunting toddlers. Stunting can lower the productivity of human resources when they are at productive age,” said the researcher from Padjadjaran University.

Another adverse impact, she continued, is that the baby’s brain development will be disrupted. “The intelligence, physical disorders, and body’s metabolism will be not perfect,” she said. “Based on the results of medical research on this issue, these symptoms are not visible in the near future, but are seen after the long term, namely at the time of productive age,” she explained.

Komsiah said, as a result, the demographic bonus is not utilized properly, and will have an impact on the country’s economy. “Based on the World Bank data, stunting cases have the potential to cause economic losses of around 2-3% of GDP every year,” she explained.

One of the objectives of this research, explained Komsiah, is to provide recommendation for intervention approaches in preventing child marriage in accordance with the regional conditions. “This research focuses on the aspects of health, psychosocial, culture and the role of family, as well as the community,” she added.

Komsiah hopes that this stunting case will be resolved by preventing child marriages, planned dissemination on stunting, and integrating the stakeholders, including local governments, community groups, youth groups, and NGOs. (ns/ ed: drs)