While for every 10 malnourished children over four (43.5%) get cured, in case of girls, the cure rate is only half (18-20%) in Madhya Pradesh capital, indicating a deep gender bias prevalent in society.
The figures have been drawn out from the records of past two years of Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) of Bhopal.
According to the data provided by the four NRCs of Bhopal for the year 2012-13, total 793 malnourished children were admitted.
Out of these children, the percentage of children who were cured of malnutrition is 40%, while percentage of cured girls is just 20%.
Similarly, in the year 2013-14, total number of children admitted in NRCs was 927, out of them 47% were cured and percentage of cured girls was just 18%.
Health department spends Rs 3,010 on every malnourished child. Severely malnourished children are sent to NRCs for 14-21 days.
At these centres, health facilities for inpatient management of severely malnourished children, with counselling of mothers for proper feeding are provided.
"This is true that cure percentage of malnourished girl child is less as compared to male child. Usually parents keep their sons on priority and are more concern for their son’s health and nutrition due which girls are deprived of nutrition”, said chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Bhopal Dr Veena Sinha.
She said earlier very less number of girls was brought to NRCs but their parents but now the scenario has changed a lot.
Gradually number of girls in NRCs of the city has increased.
More efforts would be done to improve the recovery rate of malnourished daughters in Bhopal, she added.
When contacted, right to food activist Sachin Jain said mostly malnourished children coming to NRCs belong to poor families.
The children brought to these NRCs were usually in critical condition and so they need a long term and proper nutrition system for better recovery, he added.
Jain said it has been noticed that parents were sometimes discriminate between their son and daughter.
Usually, parents of malnourished children at NRCs were less concerned about their daughter’s health as compared to son, he added.
This can be one of the reasons behind less percentage of recovery of girl child as compared to sons at NRCs, he added.