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The COVID-19 pandemic can contribute to food shocks leading to malnourishment, the next big public emergency in India. Examine and also discuss the significance of food fortification to tackle the issue of Malnourishment.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development.

3. The COVID-19 pandemic can contribute to food shocks leading to malnourishment, the next big public emergency in India. Examine and also discuss the significance of food fortification to tackle the issue of Malnourishment. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth 

Why the question:

The nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic can contribute to such food shocks and, in turn, increase the chances of malnutrition, said the study published in journal Global Health Science July, 2020. The study is based on possible weight loss due to the immediate food shock children may face because of the pandemic.

Demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the issue of Malnourishment, its prevalence in India and in what way it has become a public health emergency. One must emphasise on how fortification of food is a way forward to tackle the menace.

Directive word:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with brief introduction of the current scenario in the country.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

How pandemic leads to food shocks which in turn could lead to malnutrition?

Highlight how Malnutrition affects Indian population

Why would it become a public health emergency?

Discuss why other missions to tackle malnutrition haven’t been able to succeed fully – National Food Security Act (NFSA), a free Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDM), National nutrition mission etc.

Discuss what is Food fortification and its importance and relevance to Indian case.

Conclude by listing governments efforts in this direction.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

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