Northeast states under perform in Poshan Maah
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep. 28: India has made progress in nutrition over the last decade but the rate of improvement has been slow when compared to other emerging economies like Brazil, China and Mexico, a report from Niti Aayog informed on September 27.
Poshan Abhiyaan, India’s key national health strategy, was launched on March 8, 2018, to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers, with the overall vision that the country should be malnutrition-free by 2022.
Niti Aayog is responsible for facilitating convergence among the ministries concerned and providing policy, research and programmatic inputs.
According to the report, the targets under Poshan Abhiyaan include preventing and reducing stunting and under-nutrition in children up to six years; reducing low birth weight; reducing anaemia among young children and adolescent girls and women. The government has allocated INR 9000 crore over FY 2017-18 to FY 2019-20 for this scheme.
The first Rashtriya Poshan Maah was celebrated last year with an objective of reaching out to 10 crore people with messages on crucial practices like antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, anaemia, growth monitoring, delaying the marriageable age for girls and hygiene, among others, the report said.
The report indicated that the performance of the north-eastern states, including Nagaland, during Poshan Maah 2018 was below average while states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu out-performed the rest of the states with an above-average performance. (Refer map)
The states were judged based on various theme-wise activities namely diarrhoea, water, sanitation and hygiene, anaemia, adolescent education, diet, age at marriage, antenatal checkups, early childhood care and education, overall nutrition, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, immunisation, growth monitoring and food fortification, the report stated.
The entire month of September is currently being celebrated as Rashtriya Poshan Maah, with “focus on creating awareness about essential health and nutrition intervention during the first thousand days of a child’s life, prevention of diarrhoea, ‘Anaemia Mukt Bharat’, complementary feeding practices as well as the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene”, it informed.