Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) report titled “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015” says “Child under-nutrition is a primary driver of reduced school attendance, compromised cognitive development.”J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare along with Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development released this report at a function jointly organised by PHFI and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Nadda urged policy makers to find innovative solutions to eradicate malnutrition.
He also said the Health Ministry has developed a set of guidelines under the national guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding that recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. According to him, the efforts of the Health Ministry are complemented by the work of Ministry of Women and Child Development Integrated Child Development Scheme Mission.
This occasion hosted several health experts including Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR and Secretary, DHR, Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Shri K Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI, Prof. Ramanan Laxminarayan, distinguished Professor, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and senior officers of the ministries.
Another WSJ article talking about this report says India has won significant battles against childhood malnutrition in recent years, but it still needs to win the war.
Wealth does not necessarily equal health.Some of India’s richest states have higher incidences of malnourished children than those that are less-well off.This is known as the Indian enigma. Child undernutrition rates in India were much higher than in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, even though infant and child mortality in India were lower according to the report.