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10 Lakh Children With Severe Acute Malnutrition Identified

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani told the Rajya Sabha that the identification is an ongoing process

Poshan Desk | Mar 19, 2021

Severe acute malnutrition affects less than 10 lakh children in India, reported, the Women and Child Development Ministry in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

In a written reply in the Upper House, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said identification and management of severe acute malnutrition is an on-going process.

"Identification and management of Severe Acute Malnutrition is an on-going process. As per data made available by States/UTs, the number of SAM children is less than 10 lakh now," she said.

Irani, also mentioned that measures have been taken to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes with a focus on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity from diseases and malnutrition.

"Steps have also been taken to improve nutritional quality and testing, strengthen delivery and leverage technology to improve governance. Government has advised States/UTs to ensure that the quality of supplementary nutrition conforms to prescribe standards lay down under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and regulations made thereunder," she said.

The minister further stated that states and Union Territories have also been advised to promote the use of AYUSH systems for the prevention of malnutrition and related diseases.

A programme to support the development of Poshan Vatikas at Anganwadi centres to meet dietary diversity gaps leveraging traditional knowledge in nutritional practices has also been taken up, Irani added.

The Women and Child Development Ministry is celebrating Poshan Pakhwada from March 16 to 31 during which activities like Poshan Panchayats will be organised to address nutritional challenges.

In a statement, the WCD Ministry said that to address nutritional challenges, distribution of four saplings of nutrition-rich plants will be done per anganwadi centre (AWC) in aspirational districts under the supervision of local panchayat and DM/DC by National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH.

Following which a Poshan Panchayat will be organised involving members of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for generating awareness on topics like malnutrition prevalence and its consequences, Poshan Vatika, food forestry, identification of severely acute malnourished children and its management, the ministry said.

The WCD Ministry will be the nodal Ministry for coordinating activities during the Poshan Pakhwada.

In the State/UT, Department of Women & Child Development /Social Welfare Department will be the nodal department for Poshan Pakhwada.

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Inputs From PTI