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Mon, 21 Jan 2019

Northeast Today

Meghalaya Determined to Uproot Malnutrition Completely

Meghalaya Determined to Uproot Malnutrition Completely
November 19
16:01 2018

October Edition, Statewide Meghalaya

Malnutrition is one of the biggest health issues India has been waging a war against for decades. Some plans and schemes have yielded some positive result, while many have failed to deliver any good. However, taking the battle head-on, the Meghalaya government is now on war-footing to eradicate malnutrition completely from the state. A Sushmita Deb report…

The Meghalaya Story

According to a report titled ‘Bridging the gap: Tapping the agriculture potential for optimum nutrition’ prepared jointly by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and EY in 2017, it was revealed that Meghalaya was ranked as one of the five states with high malnutrition rates in the country. With 42.9 per cent of its total children and women malnourished, Meghalaya was ranked fifth in the ranking with Uttar Pradesh (50.4 per cent), Bihar (49.4 per cent), Jharkhand (47.4 per cent), Chhattisgarh (43 per cent), Gujarat (41.6 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (41.5 per cent) being the other states.

It may be further mentioned here that the underweight children below five years in Meghalaya is 29 per cent against the countrywide average of 35.7 per cent. Anaemia among children below five years in Meghalaya is 40.7 per cent while the national average is 58.4 per cent.

Keeping abreast with the Centre’s pilot project to uproot malnutrition completely from the country, the Meghalaya government too marked September as the POSHAN Maah. The aim of this was to reach every household with the message of nutrition. Activities were held at different blocks, villages and Anganwadi Centres.

The themes for the campaign included promotion of antenatal care, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, fight anaemia, growth monitoring, the importance of girls’ education nutrition and the right age of marriage and also to promote hygiene and sanitation.

As per reports LM Momin, Additional Director of the State’s Social Welfare Department, said, “September is being observed as the month of POSHAN Abhiyan. The mission starts from the village and block level to the district, state and national level. Common application software for mobile phones is being used to monitor, register and record the various stages of the mission across the state.”

A study conducted by North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati and HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi in East Khasi Hills and East Garo Hills districts in 2015-16, discovered that there are some important advances being made in the region in this direction through the intervention of the Supplementary Nutrition Programmes (SNP) of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, of which Anganwadi centres are the public face.

In addition, other services under this scheme focus on education, maternal and child health care and counselling, and have transformed many lives since its launch in 1975. Most of those surveyed were happy with the services rendered, especially the supplementary nutrition, preschool education, immunisation and those afforded to nurse mothers and pregnant women.

Conclusion

Malnutrition is not restricted to Meghalaya alone. India having the largest rate of malnutrition; each and every state of the country is facing the problem of malnutrition; which is leading to high mortality rates, physical disabilities and so on. So, the other states of the country should take the example of Meghalaya and take necessary steps towards fighting malnutrition. Malnutrition is not a new issue in our country; it has been faced by us for ages. But, today living in an era, where technology has taken over mankind, if we still do not have any solution towards it, then it is truly very shameful. Any scheme launched by the Union Government can only become a success if the State Government as well as every individual comes forward and work on it with a positive mindset. Malnutrition has become the biggest enemy for development. A country cannot develop if the people are not healthy.

We do not think before wasting our food and throwing them in the garbage, that there are many people in the country who are sleeping empty stomach. Instead of throwing away the leftover foods, we can give them away to someone who is in need of it. If we do not help in the development of one another, then we cannot keep on blaming the Government for it. It is our responsibility to come forward and help in building a better and a healthy nation.

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