Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Syiah Kuala University (FVM USK), Drh. Teuku Reza Ferasyi, MSc., PhD., along with a delegation, was received for an audience with the Acting Governor of Aceh, Ahmad Marzuki, on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at the Pendopo. The purpose of the visit was to convey FVM USK’s plan to carry out community service activities in several regions of Aceh.

During the occasion, Dean FVM USK explained that the community service activities would focus on the theme of “Empowering the Community to Prevent Stunting Through Self-Employment and the Consumption of Animal-Origin Foods that are Nutritious.” The scope of these activities for addressing stunting with animal-origin food was given primary attention, considering that Aceh still ranks among the top five nationally in terms of stunting cases. One of the contributing factors is the low consumption of protein from animal-origin sources among the stunted population. Therefore, FVM USK intends to contribute by adopting the One-Health concept, through collaboration and coordination of cross-agency and cross-sector programs in Aceh. The presence of higher education institutions in communities affected by stunting is expected to provide alternative solutions to reduce these cases in the future, particularly through sustained guidance by lecturers and students from various fields of expertise in these locations.

The Acting Governor of Aceh welcomed the proposed activities and pledged maximum support. In his address, he urged further discussions on the collaborative plan for addressing stunting, involving all relevant authorities in the Aceh Government and District/City levels, in cooperation with higher education institutions. Additionally, he expressed hope that the community service activities would not be limited to just one month but would be sustainable until the community becomes self-reliant in meeting their animal protein needs through household-based initiatives in rural areas, ultimately reducing stunting rates in Aceh.

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the Aceh Health Department and a Representative from the Badan Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana Nasional (BKKBN) Aceh Region. Both institutions expressed their commitment and support for the stunting alleviation activities to be carried out by FVM USK.