15 Jun ISSUE OF MALNUTRITION AND ANAEMIA
ISSUE OF MALNUTRITION AND ANAEMIA – Today Current Afffairs
Good nutrition has the power to empower the present and future generations.
A child’s nutritional status is directly linked to their mother. Poor nutrition among pregnant women affects the nutritional status of the child and has a greater chance to affect future generations.
Undernourished children are at risk of under-performing in studies and have limited job prospects. This vicious cycle restrains the development of the country, whose workforce, affected mentally and physically, has reduced work capacity.
Today Current Affairs
While there has been some progress in tackling malnutrition among children and women over the past decade, the improvement has been modest at best.
This is despite declining rates of poverty, increased self-sufficiency in food production, and the implementation of a range of government programmes.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) has shown marginal improvement in different nutrition indicators, indicating that the pace of progress is slow.
Children in several States are more undernourished now than they were five years ago. The Hindu Analysis
- Wasting is defined as low weight-for-height
- Stunting is defined as low height-for-age.
- Anaemia is defined as the condition in which the number of red blood cells or the haemoglobin concentration within them is lower than normal.
A/C REPORT, There is a reduction in stunting rates (35.5% from 38.4% in NFHS-4) The Hindu Analysis
13 States or Union Territories have seen an increase in stunted children since NFHS-4 this includes Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Kerala.
A/C NFHS surveys, wasting has either risen or has remained stagnant over the years. The Hindu Analysis
India also has the highest prevalence of anaemia in the world
- The NFHS-5 survey indicates that more than 57% of women (15-49 years) and over 67% children (six-59 months) suffer from anaemia.
- Assam is among the low-performing States with a huge burden of anaemic cases — 66.4% of women (15-49 years) and 68.4% children (6-59 months) are affected.
- Developing countries lose up to 4.05% in GDP per annum due to iron deficiency anaemia; India loses up to 1.18% of GDP annually.
- Experts have pointed out that Saksham Anganwadi and the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN) 2.0 programme have seen only a marginal increase in budgetary allocation this year (₹20,263 crore from ₹20,105 crore in 2021-22). The Hindu Analysis
- Additionally, 32% of funds released under POSHAN Abhiyaan to States and Union Territories have not been utilised.
India must adopt an outcome-oriented approach on nutrition programmes.
- There has to be direct engagement with nutritionally vulnerable groups (this includes the elderly, pregnant women, those with special needs and young children), and contribute toward ensuring last-mile delivery of key nutrition services and interventions. The Hindu Analysis
- This will ensure greater awareness on the one hand and proper planning and implementation of programmes at the grass-roots level on the other, which can then be replicated at the district and national levels.
- With basic education and general awareness, every individual is informed, takes initiatives at the personal level and can become an agent of change.
TO CONCLUDE : The Hindu Analysis
Various studies highlight a strong link between mothers’ education and improved access and compliance with nutrition interventions among children.
We must ensure our young population has a competitive advantage; nutrition and health are foundational to that outcome.
The country’s response to its burden of malnutrition and growing anaemia has to be practical and innovative.
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