Print Friendly, PDF & Email

India needs to scale up direct nutrition interventions

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of society, issues related to the development of the social sector, issues related to poverty and hunger etc

 

Context:

Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 2019-21, as compared to NFHS-4 2015-16, reveals a substantial improvement in the period of four to five years in several proxy indicators of women’s empowerment.

  • India is affected by public health issues such as child malnutrition (35.5% stunted, 67.1% anaemic) attributing to 68.2% of under-five child mortality.
  • Nodal Ministry: The Ministry of Women and Child(MWCD)
    • It align different ministries to work in tandem on the “window of opportunity” of the first 1,000 days in life (270 days of pregnancy and 730 days; 24 months).

 

National Family Health Survey(NFHS) data on nutrition (NFHS-5  Vs NFHS-4)

  • Progressive factors:
    • There is a substantial increase in antenatal service attendance (58.6- 70.0%)
    • Women having their own savings bank accounts (63.0 to78.6%)
    • Women owning mobile phones that they themselves use(49.9 % to 54.0%)
    • Women married before 18 years of age (26.8 % to 23.3 %)
    • Women with 10 or more years of schooling (35.7% to 41.0%)
    • Access to clean fuel for cooking (43.8 % to 68.6%).
  • Regressive factors:
    • The country has not progressed well in terms of direct nutrition interventions.
    • Preconception nutrition, maternal nutrition and appropriate infant and child feeding remain to be effectively addressed.
    • India has 20%to 30% undernutrition even in the first six months of life when exclusive breastfeeding is the only nourishment required.
    • Neither maternal nutrition care interventions nor feeding practices for infants and young child feeding practices have shown the desired improvement.
    • Only marginal improvement in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding(EBF).

 

The vicious cycle of poor nutrition: Poor nutrition not only adversely impacts health and survival but also leads to diminished learning capacity and poor school performance. And in adulthood, it means reduced earnings and increased risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

 

 

Current Affairs

What needs to be done:

  • First 1000 days intervention: Preconception nutrition, maternal nutrition and child feeding practices in the first 1,000 days of life need priority
  • Well-planned breastfeeding counselling given to pregnant women during antenatal checkups before delivery and in follow-up frequent home visits makes a significant difference.
  • Creating awareness of Exclusive Breastfeeding
  • Complementary feeding practices,e., complementing semi-solid feeding with the continuation of breast milk from six months onwards.

Government Schemes to Tackle Malnutrition:

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme
  • National Health Mission (NHM)
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme
  • MGNREGA
  • National Nutrition Mission

 

POSHAN Abhiyaan:

●      Also called National Nutrition Mission, was launched by the government on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018.

●      The Abhiyaan targets to reduce Stunting, undernutrition, and Anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.

●      It also targets to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

●      Emphasis on: High impact essential nutrition-sensitive interventions, which indirectly impact mother, infant and young child nutrition (e.g., improving coverage of maternal-child health services, availability, and access to improved water, sanitation, diversified diet and hygiene)

 

Insta Links:

ICDS

Mid-Day Meal Scheme

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Empowering women is key to controlling population growth. Discuss. (UPSC 2019)

Q. In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss (UPSC 2020)

 

Q. With reference to Poshan Abhiyaan, consider the following statements:

  1. It targets to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2025.
  2. The Abhiyaan targets to reduce Stunting, undernutrition, Anemia among young children and adolescent girls only.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Justification:

POSHAN Abhiyaan:

  • Also called National Nutrition Mission, was launched by the government on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2018.
  • The Abhiyaan targets to reduce Stunting, undernutrition, Anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
  • It also targets to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 4% to 25% by 2022.

Source: The Hindu