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Showing posts with label National Health Mission (M.P.) - 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Health Mission (M.P.) - 2014. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 March 2020

The Double Burden Of ‘Malnutrition’

National Health Mission (M.P.) - 2014

From what I’ve seen, other than lack of nutritious food or poverty, malnutrition has multiple root causes which in turn leads to ‘mall-nutrition’, i.e. consumption of junk food. There has been an increase in the replacement of home-made food with cheap unhealthy junk food available on the streets, which is also leading to malnutrition among children. In my view, this issue extends beyond healthcare system’s capacity to treat malnutrition and calls for an immediate attention and awareness to the dangers of junk food consumption. Low-income families not only have constrained financial resources but also limited knowledge due to which the problem is compounded. If they were to invest money efficiently, it would give returns in terms of nutritional value and healthy life in later years.
    Malnutrition is directly or indirectly affecting our country’s productivity. A recent country report by National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) has revealed that though the prevalence of stunting and underweight (children under 5 years) has decreased, yet, the levels of child malnutrition continue to be high.

According to the World Bank, India is one of the highest-ranking countries in the world for children suffering from malnutrition. In terms of poverty, India ranks 21 in the world. The prevalence of underweight in children in India is among the highest in the world. One in every four of the world’s malnourished children lives in India. Also, the Global Hunger Index has ranked India 20th among leading countries with a serious hunger situation in 2015.
Gaps can be seen in nutrition programming in the country at all levels. There is no institutional mechanism in place to ensure regular availability of anthropometric data at national, state and district levels. The first step towards meaningful planning and monitoring would be to put in place a regular and comprehensive nutrition surveillance system and incorporate it with the Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS). This multi-sectoral comprehensive approach towards tackling malnutrition in all its forms might help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2.2 which calls for ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030, and achieving the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age by 2025. It’s a rocky road ahead and difficult to achieve this in our country, but it is possible.