One in five children underweight, shows Rajasthan government data
Despite the state government’s claims of undertaking strict measures to tackle malnutrition, one in five children in Rajasthan continue to be underweight, health department data show.jaipur Updated: Feb 13, 2018 21:35 IST
Despite the state government’s claims of undertaking strict measures to tackle malnutrition, one in five children in Rajasthan continue to be underweight, health department data show.
According to data tabled in the state assembly, 20% children in the state are either in the underweight or severely underweight category.
In December 2017, according to health department figures, a total of 3,602,931 children were weighed and 722,748 were found to be underweight and 6391 were severely underweight. Only 2,873,792 children had normal weight.
In 2015, the figure of underweight or severely underweight children was 25%. The department weighed 3929454 children. Of these, 2,920,011 had normal weight while 999,942 were underweight and 9,501 were severely underweight.
The data was part of the reply given to an unstarred question in the assembly by BJP MLA Banwari Lal Singhal who wanted to know how many cases of malnutrition had come to light in the last four years in the state.
To a question on whether any child had died of malnutrition, the health department replied in the negative.
On whether any scheme is in force to treat malnourished children, the department said the malnourished children are given poorak poshahar at anganbadi centres. The severely malnourished children are given poorak poshahar in additional quantity.
The severely acute malnourished children, suffering from illness, are identified and given treatment at the malnutrition treatment centres. They are given therapeutic food and micro-nutrients, the department said.
From the age of six months to three years, children are given 125 gm of babymix while severely underweight children are given 200 gm of babymix, the health department informed.
Between three and six years, children are given snacks and a hot meal comprising khichdi or sweet porridge. The severely underweight kids are snacks 75 gm additional poorak poshahar as well as a hot meal comprising khichdi or sweet porridge. Pregnant and lactating women and adolescent girls are given 155 gm babymix.
To tackle malnutrition in a targeted manner, the government had in December 2016 launched the community-based management of children with acute malnutrition (CMAM) in 10 high priority districts and three tribal districts. Under this, children were screened in 1620 villages in 41 blocks and were referred to malnutrition treatment centres or anganbari centres for treatment by giving nutritional supplements.