State signs MoU with Vitamin Angels
Dimapur, Sep. 17 (EMN): With an objective to address issues of malnutrition and mortality for children under five years across Nagaland, the state government announced its partnership with Vitamin Angels, an international not-for-profit organisation, on September 17 during a consultative meeting held at IDSP hall in the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare.
The partnership was announced by Dr. I Talitemsula Jamir, mission director of National Health Mission (NHM) under the department of Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland, an update from NHM stated on Friday.
“NHM and Vitamin Angels had signed an MoU wherein Vitamin Angels would provide the Nagaland government with technical assistance to strengthen and/ or expand public health nutrition interventions targeted towards children under five years, pregnant and lactating women across the state,” the statement read.
The agreement was aimed at increasing availability and strengthening the administration of vitamin A, multiple micronutrient supplements and de-worming interventions; strengthening supply chain mechanism of vitamin A and de-worming tablets; supporting capacity building of frontline workers in health and nutrition interventions; supporting monitoring of vitamin A and de-worming interventions across the state; and strengthening the maternal, infant and young child nutrition programme (MIYCN) and deliver MMS to pregnant women across a few districts.
Sunish Jauhari, president of Vitamin Angels India said, “Vitamin Angels strives to reach the most underserved and nutritionally vulnerable communities across the globe and in India. We are very grateful to the department of Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland, for allowing us an opportunity to work with them in reaching the millions of children in the far-flung districts of the state.”
Stating that the MoU marked a milestone in their work with the government, he looked forward to a strong collaboration in the future for positive impact on ground.
Dr. I Talitemsula Jamir, MD of NHM, expressed gratitude for the positive work done for the state and for all the support rendered. He looked forward for more positive venture with the new partnership.
It mentioned that Vitamin Angels has been working in India since 2010 with grassroots organisations and state governments to support the underserved and unreached with critical healthcare and nutrition services. Vitamin Angels started working with civil society organisations in Nagaland since 2011 and with the state government since 2016 by providing age-appropriate colour coded, high-dose vitamin A capsules for children. Since 2018, Vitamin Angels has been the primary and sole partner for the state government in ensuring vitamin A supplementation for children under five years across the state.
It added that Nagaland has shown significant improvement in the nutritional status of young children over the last few decades. The NFHS 5 (2019-20) showed vitamin A coverage for children under 5 at 44.4%, a marked increase since NFHS 4 (2015-16), where the coverage stood at a mere 27.2% across districts.
It further stated that Kohima has shown the highest coverage of vitamin A in the state with 76.8% coverage, higher than the optimal coverage level of 70% recommended by WHO. This was also a significant increase from its last recorded coverage in Kohima of 39% as per NFHS 4.