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Battling malnutrition: Wider medico network must

?CHILD MORTALITY and malnutrition will not come down unless there is effective network. The network of resource persons, particularly paediatricians, as they are the ones to communicate with mothers, has to be tightened,? Country Chief, Health, UNICEF Dr Marzio Babille said here on Sunday.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 15:51 IST

“CHILD MORTALITY and malnutrition will not come down unless there is effective network. The network of resource persons, particularly paediatricians, as they are the ones to communicate with mothers, has to be tightened,” Country Chief, Health, UNICEF Dr Marzio Babille said here on Sunday.

“Communication is the key word. Paediatrician’s role becomes crucial in not just taking the message but also in early management and proper implementation during the crucial milestones in the family,” Dr Babille said during the inauguration of central zone workshop on ‘management of diarrhoea and malnutrition’ organised by Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) at Hotel Shreemaya Residency.

“Taking into consideration the rural scenario, paediatrician can steer and take lead in public health,” he told the workshop, which was attended by about 100 paediatricians from across five states in IAP central zone.

Speaking on behalf of government of Madhya Pradesh, Director (Health and Family Welfare) Dr Ashok Sharma said, “The State hopes to improve IMR and MMR scenario with the ongoing programmes under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and RCH II (Reproductive and Child Health) plans.”

Even as he admitted that the government was unable to provide proper health services in rural areas, Dr Sharma said, “We are however, committed to providing paediatricians at block level.” He also hoped that the government’s partnership with the IAP would help meet the target of reaching out to the underprivileged.

Earlier, IAP immediate past president Dr Raju Shah said, “What was just a body for advocacy, IAP has today become active in implementing what is being planned. Not just the government of India, but also WHO and UNICEF have recognised it as a force to bring about change.” He hoped the public private partnership in childcare would help meet the Millennium Development Goals.

IAP president Dr Nitin Shah, in his introductory speech, said, “Taking up the cause of child survival issue, the IAP has targeted plans to reduce mortality and morbidity.” He also spoke about the IAP initiative in paediatric HIV treatment and management.

Dr Gagan Gupta, who was the chief coordinator for the workshop and also conducted the proceedings, said, “This is part of the IAP’s Presidential Action Plan 2006. We aim to upgrade clinical skills of paediatricians to reduce the high infant and child mortality in the country.”

The day-long deliberations in the workshop covered role of ORS in management of diarrhoea, importance of zinc, management of dysentery and severe malnutrition and its management. Apart from Dr Shah and Dr Babille, IAP secretary Dr Deepak Ugra and editor of Indian Paediatrics Dr Panna Choudhary also addressed the participants.