Serdang Bedagai Local Government Collaborates on Stunting Alleviation Research using Snakehead Fish and Striped Catfish Products

Taken place at the Meeting Room of Pancur Gading Hotel and Resort, the initiation of a collaborative program to prevent stunting by PT Mega Medica Pharmaceuticals (MMP) and the Serdang Bedagai District Health Office (Sergai Health Office) was held on Saturday, January 11, 2020. The event that was attended by the management of Sergai Health Office, was opened with a presentation from PT MMP entitled “The Collaboration of MMP and Local Government to Manage Stunting Problems in Serdang Bedagai, Indonesia.”

In his presentation, Scientific Affairs Manager of PT MMP, Guntur Berlian M.Si, explained the data and national status of stunting along with an overview of proposed collaboration strategy that needs to be carried out by the Sergai Health Office in order to overcome stunting problems in Serdang Bedagai. Two of PT MMP’s promising supplement products, Channa and Pangasium, extracts of snakehead fish (Channa striata) and striped catfish (Pangasius hypopthalmus), respectively, are also offered to be used to intervene the high stunting rate in Serdang Bedagai. High contents of proteins, vitamins and minerals in those two fishes is the main reason for the importance of consuming these supplements in order to help the growth and development process of children.

The Head of Sergai Health Office, dr. Bulan Simanungkalit, M.Kes, MM, welcomed this collaboration positively as it will potentially contribute to the Zero Stunting program that currently is being promoted by the Sergai Health Office. Furthermore, the doctor who is also the Chair of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Medicine of Methodist University of Indonesia, also urged to speed up the discussion steps and immediately take concrete steps. The first step that needs to be taken by both parties is to conduct joint research that is not only focused on overcoming stunting, but also mapping the root causes of stunting in Serdang Bedagai. This step is considered to be very important in order to overcome stunting problem strategically and comprehensively, rather than sporadically.

This collaboration that was initiated by PT MMP already received a support previously from the Serdang Bedagai Regent, Ir. H. Soekirman, as represented by the Deputy Regent, H. Darma Wijaya. He mentioned that this collaboration program is expected to be a strategic collaboration model for stunting alleviation which then later can promote Serdang Bedagai as a pilot district in overcoming this national issue. In addition, this collaboration is considered to be very strategic and encouraging as these products, Channa and Pangasium, are processed and produced independently by a pharmaceutical company from the Serdang Bedagai region itself.