50 per cent of kids suffer from malnutrition

SHILLONG, Oct 10 (UNI): About 50 per cent of children in the country suffer from chronic malnutrition and the same per cent of pregnant women are anaemic.This shocking data came to light at a state level workshop on "integrated education and training through assessment analysis and action (AAA) approach for reduction of malnutrition" held here yesterday.

"Malnutrition is so widespread in the country that even 50 years of planned developmental projects and schemes like health for all by 2000 could hardly help alleviate the menace," the workshop noted.

Giving statistics on child malnutrition and women anaemia, Meghalaya commissioner and secretary for social welfare S S Gupta informed that anaemia also affects 74 per cent of children below three years.

The acute malnutrition resulted in 22 per cent of the children suffering from low birth weight that also led to 50 per cent of the infant mortality in India, he said adding that maternal anaemia was largely responsible for the infant mortality.

The alarming health scenario in the country prompted the government to take up programmes like National Nutrition Policy (NNP) in 1993 followed by the establishment of the national nutrition surveillance system mainly aimed at identifying nutritional problems.

Mr Gupta said besides the country had launched the 'National Nutrition Mission' for bringing down the high level of low birth weight in children, other objectives included reduction in infant mortality and 'complete' elimination of severe malnutrition by 2005- the present level being 16.2 per cent.

The target was to reduce the problem of anaemia by 2007. At present, 74.3 per cent children suffer from anaemia while 51.8 per cent of the mothers are afflicted by this condition, the workshop said. .

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Referred by:: Benjamin P Kaila
Published on:11 oct, 2001
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