Almost three years after more than half of children were found underweight in Madhya Pradesh in a survey, the nutrition level of children would be checked again.
National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Hyderabad would undertake a fresh district-level survey, likely from February end, to find out the nutrition levels, their impact on children and the probable causes of undernourishment.
“The survey would commence once the administrative approval is received and it would last for six months,” commissioner of women and child development, Manohar Agnani told HT.
The NIN had undertaken a nutrition survey in the state in year 2010 (March to September) and the results were released in August 2011. The survey has showed that 51.9% of the rural children below five years of age in the state were underweight. In addition, 48.9% of children were found stunted (height Satna Umaria Barwani Dindori Alirajpur lesser than average for their age) while 25.8% children were found wasted (weight lesser than average for their height)-a sign of short-term acute malnutrition. Though the figures were quite less compared with those highlighted by the National Family Health Survey-III (for 200506 released in 2009), the high percentage of undernourished children had sent alarm bells ringing for the government. NFHS-III (rural) had put the number of underweight children in MP at a shocking 62.7%-highest in the country.
The NIN figures are being used while implementing the flagship Atal Child Health and Nutrition Mission of the state government. The state women and child development department is planning to conduct the fresh survey to find out the impact of the different schemes as well as the mission on the nutrition level of the children.
Apart from finding the nutrition status of children, the survey would also look at the source of income of the families surveyed, their drinking water source, registration for antenatal care for pregnant women, place of delivery (government or private hospital or home), who conducted the delivery (doctor, health workers, etc. immunisation and Vitamin A supplementation status of the women, breastfeeding and child feeding practices, sources said.