About a third of Indian’s are believed to be malnourished and over 40% of children receive less food than they should. The Govt. of India is increasing food subsidies to address this situation, but the rapidly rising population of much of Northern India (birth rate has fallen but momentum means the population continues to rise) poses continuing challenges.
The following are some articles that attempt to explore the problem.
Although great improvements have been made within the past few years, there still remains a great number of malnutrition related illnesses that are still present in the county and remains a major public health issue.After much controversy long awaited results of the 2015 report concerning malnutrition in India has been released . The Rapid Survey on Children (RSoC), a survey performed between the year 2013 and 2014. A civile collective have demanded that malnutrition should be included as a medical emergency in hopes to further decrease the number of malnourished children in India.
The RSoC reports that:
- 38.7% are considered stunted (low height for age)
- 29.4% are considered underweight (low weight for age)
- 15% are considered wasted (low weight for height)
Data from an older report (NFHS-3 data) has shown similar numbers and correlation between the two studies seems apparent.
Micro nutrient Malnutrition in India
With one sixth of the global population residing in India, one third of about two billion people suffering from vitamin and micronutrient deficit are in India.Micronutrients are required in small quantities and responsible for vital functions of the human body. Recent data suggest, some forms of micronutrient malnutrition are reaching their peak in the present century. This article looks at the magnitude of this problem, and the initiatives taken by the government to tackle it and the results obtained with those efforts. Then, an effort is made to consider newer options and commitments required that are available for tackling the problem of micronutrient malnutrition.
World Bank report on nutrition in India
Stunting (described as low height for age) in Indian children, 6 to 24 months of age, could be dramatically reduced if children receive three things critical for good nutrition – adequate feeding, health care and environmental health. This is in a new World Bank report which analyses data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2005-06 and the HUMGAMA Survey 2011 to indicate a strong co-relation between stunting in children and their adequacy or inadequacy in these three dimensions.Click here to read the article.
As published by the Times of India, the government in Sikkim is launching a unique awareness program on malnutrition in 18 districts of its state. The program includes sound and light shows, folk songs, dances, dramas and puppet shows. To read more please click here.
The National Food Security Bill: The Debate
The media in the past few days has been covering a debate on the food security bill. Following are links to some articles which cover both sides of the debate:
The National Food Security Bill
To read a copy of the bill please click here.
Food for thought – Report
Save the Children recently released a report on child malnutrition which states that chronically malnourished children – about one of every four children born today — are significantly less able to read, write a simple sentence, or perform basic arithmetic. To read the report please click here.
Malnutrition Still Killing Three Million Children Under Five
The Lancelet recently published a series of reports that stated malnutrition is responsible for nearly half (45 percent) of all deaths in children under five. To read more about the findings of the report please click here.
Tackling Malnutrition: Save the Children Report
To read the report published by Save the Children please click here.
Govt to kick off Nutri-Farms in select dists to fight malnutrition
As reported by the Indian Express, in a new initiative to deepen the link between nutrition and cropping pattern, the finance minister announced Nutri-Farms scheme with Rs 200 crore funding for pilot projects in districts most affected by malnutrition. To read more please click here.
The World Bank Report on Malnutrition in India
According to the World Bank report, the integrated child development services needs to undergo many changes. The full report can be downloaded from here.
11.7 % increase in funds for Integrated Child Development Services
In March 2013, the Hindu reported that finance Minister P. Chidambaram commended the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) for being able to spend the entire amount of Rs. 15,850 crore provided in 2012-13. As a reward for this, an allocation of Rs. 17,700 crore in 2013-14 in the Budget proposal — an increase of 11.7 per cent for the ministry has been made. To read more please click here.
World Vision and Save the Children Produce a Nutrition Barometer putting India at the Bottom of the list
World Vision India and Save the Children are calling for political promises to be urgently translated into action to avert the deaths of millions of undernourished children, of which over 5000 die every day in India alone.Strikingly, India appears at the bottom of the list despite experiencing strong economic growth in the past few years. At the other end of the spectrum lies Peru, which has shown strong political resolve and has committed growing resources to fight child undernutrition, thus achieving results. To read more please click here.
It’s time kids got their due: A beautiful childhood
Almost 40 per cent of Indian children are underweight, and 45 per cent are stunted due to malnourishment, according to the National Family Health Survey-3. The survey also reported that six out of every 10 children from the poorest households are stunted, and almost as many are underweight. Children from the SC and ST communities are also more likely to be malnourished, according to this report. The ministry of health and family welfare states that more than 55 per cent of the under-5 mortality occurs from complications resulting from malnutrition. To read more click here.
India seeks stronger partnership with UK in field of nutrition
Women and Child Development minister Krishna Tirath has sought stronger partnership with the United Kingdom in the field of child development and nutrition, saying tackling malnutrition was the top priority for her government.Krishna sought stronger cooperation in these fields in a meeting with UK’s Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell in London. To read more please click here.
New weighing machine to detect child malnutrition
Severe acute malnutrition (SAM), which is one of the causes of infant mortality, will now be very easy to detect for auxiliary nurse midwife as the state medical health and family welfare department along with Unicef have introduced a simple-to-use baby weighing scale.The health department would distribute these baby weighing scales to all the ANMs for rapid health assessment of the under-5 children in the state. To read more please click here.
India commits to end hunger at London event
India on Sunday night joined Britain and other nations at the Global Hunger Event to initiate more steps to end hunger and malnutrition for 170 million children across the globe by the next Olympics in Rio in 2016. To read more please click here.
India: Undernourished children a call for reform and action
In a report published by the World Bank it says that India’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) needs to undergo significant changes to address the current malnutrition crisis in India. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world, and is nearly double that of Sub-Saharan Africa, the report says. It also observes that malnutrition in India is a concentrated phenomenon. To read more please click here.
Shocking numbers of South Asian children go to bed hungry
One third of families in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are regularly going to bed hungry due to soaring food prices in a region which accounts for half the world’s underweight children, the head of Save the Children says. To read more please click here.
The Budget’s Big Focus on Malnutrition
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India will increase spending on malnutrition programs by 58% in fiscal 2012-13 to 158 billion rupees, or about $3 billion. Despite its rapid economic growth, India has struggled with persistently high rates of malnutrition, far worse than many worse-performing economies. A recent Indian survey, which covered about a fifth of the country’s children, found 42% of those under the age of 5 are underweight. Read more here
Hunger and pain mark a child’s life in tale of two Indias
For all its economic growth, India remains home to half the world’s poor and hungry. More than 400 million people here exist on less than a dollar a day. In parts of India – like Ujala’s village of Paretha, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh – child malnutrition rates are worse than in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more here
India Today Conclave 2012: Talks, ideas, questions
“Where is the state and what is its role when as much as 51 per cent of the adult population in India is proven to be suffering from chronic malnutrition?”This was one of the questions asked at the India Today Conclave 2012, a two-day conference held in New Delhi recently. Read more here
First 1,000 days shape health for life
Scientists say there are at least 50 brain chemicals or neurotransmitters that are affected by the intake of food and micronutrients by the child in his or her first 1,000 days. The impact of inadequate nutrition during this golden period is lasting and irreversible, with effects beyond physical health to affect the child’s cognitive development. Read more here
Health gets booster shot with robust fund infusion
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called India’s high infant and maternal mortality rates a national shame. In the Budget, the government has responded with a 58 per cent increase in allocation to the nutrition programme of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), targeting pre-school children and pregnant women. ICDS funds have gone up from Rs 10,000 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 15,850 crore in 2012-13 . Read more here