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    USU Research Collaboration on Supplement for Stunting Reduction

    Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU), in collaboration with Bina Nusantara University (Binus) and the Government of Serdang Bedagai (Sergai) Regency, North Sumatra, and PT Mega Medica Pharmaceuticals (MMP LLC), has conducted research on a supplement targeted to reduce stunting in the regency that has successfully reduced the stunting rate by up to 38%. The 6-month research collaboration, involving 20 community health centers, six sub-districts, and 243 villages in Serdang Bedagai Regency, demonstrated that the syrup containing a combination of snakehead fish, andrographis paniculata, and turmeric extracts from MMP LLC has proven effective in reducing stunting.

    The Head of the Research Team, Prof. Bens Pardamean, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., stated in the research report on the prevalence of stunting in the regency that the study was conducted through an Integrated Database System. Sergai Regency is currently implementing a stunting intervention program involving distributing products from MMP LLC, providing supplementary food, and combining both. Bens Pardamean mentioned that the Stunting DB application facilitated the recording, storage, and access of data for analyzing the impact of the program or intervention on the growth and development of stunted toddlers.

    This information was presented during the presentation of stunting research results at the Reflection on Stunting Innovation event with Bina Nusantara University. The event was attended by the Regent of Sergai, H. Darma Wijaya, several regional leaders, the Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency, Dr. Hasto Wardoyo, Sp. OG (K), and other distinguished figures such as Prof. Dr. dr. Sarma Nursani Lumban Raja, Sp.OG (K) and Dr. rer dr. M. Ichwan, M.Sc, the Dean of Faculty of Medicine, USU, Prof. Dr. dr. Aldy Safruddin Rambe, Sp.S (K), Imam Bagus Sumantri, S.Farm, M.Si. Apt, the Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, USU, Khairunnisa, S.Si., M.Pharm, Ph.D and the Director of MMP LLC, Sutristo.

    Previously, the stunting rate in Serdang Bedagai reached 483 toddlers. After the validation process in two stages, involving removing redundant data, the final validation isolated 219 toddlers from 17 community health centers. After six months of research, the characteristics of the research participants showed improvements in height growth, weight gain, appetite, and a reduction in the frequency of fever or diarrhea experienced by the toddlers. Overall, Bens Pardamean stated that all three intervention programs had a significant impact, with the Channafit supplementation showing particularly positive results compared to the other two programs. This was evidenced by a significant increase in anthropometric measurements of 8.45 cm and 2.80 kg.

    Dr. Hasto Wardoyo, Head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency, commended the stunting research involving academia, government, the community, and the industry. He believes that such programs can assist the central government in accelerating the reduction of stunting rates nationally.

    Meanwhile, Sutristo from MMP LLC stated that the company focuses on developing products for the health of mothers and children sourced from natural ingredients in Indonesia, particularly from snakehead fish (channa striata). Preclinical trials of the combination of snakehead fish, turmeric, andrographis paniculata, and honey extracts in syrup form to prevent stunting were also conducted by the Faculty of Pharmacy at USU which came up with the ideal dosage according to body weight for the supplement. The developed products are available for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children.

    Snakehead fish (channa striata) is a local natural resource with nutritional potential, containing a complete set of essential amino acids closely resembling those needed by the body, thus aiding in the prevention of malnutrition. Meanwhile, turmeric, andrographis paniculata, and honey contain compounds that can increase appetite.
    Based on the available data, the research team suggests that this combination of ingredients holds promise as an approach for use in stunting intervention cases, considering the abundance of the base ingredients, their low production cost, and the affordability of the resulting syrup.