WCD Ministry hosts first-ever National Conference on under-nutrition
The first-ever National Conference on “Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition” was held in New Delhi to address the issue of malnutrition in the country. Three states were also awarded on the occasion for effectively reducing the prevalence of stunting in population.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development hosted the first ever National Conference in New Delhi on 19 September 2017 on Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition in the country.
The conference was organised by the WCD Ministry in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, keeping in mind the goal of “Malnutrition Free India-2022”.
The main reason behind holding the conference was to give focused attention on the issue of under-nutrition and for the same purpose, the WCD ministry has identified 113 most backward districts across the country based on the composite index of NITI Ayong and prevalence of stunting from NFHS-4 data.
The composed list includes at least one district from each State/UT so that the action taken in the selected district can be followed in other districts as well.
About the National Conference
• The conference mainly aims to sensitize the District-level officers on a large number of topics relating to stunting, under-nutrition and wasting and the key strategic interventions which are urgently required.
• The District Magistrates, Collectors and Deputy Commissioners in these 113 backward districts will be required to regularly monitor and review the implementation of schemes having a direct bearing on nutrition and Health in departments within their jurisdiction at least once in a three-month period.
• In total, the review process would be conducted in an exclusive and dedicated manner four times a year, between 1st to 10th of January, April, July and October.
• Besides spreading awareness on under-nutrition, the event also saw conferral of awards to three states-Chattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat, for showing good progress in the area of reduction in stunting as measured between NFHS-3 and NFHS-4.
• Some of the important sessions at the conference included the efficacy of food fortification, sustainable solution through breast feeding, dietary diversification, improving maternal & child health through ‘Mission Indradhanush’, improving program delivery effectiveness and accelerating Real-Time Monitoring.
Following are the few steps taken by the WCD Ministry to manage malnutrition:
• Training ICDS functionaries
• Developing a curriculum for ECCE
• Issuing food fortification guidelines
Further, the WCD Ministry has also developed ‘ICDS-CAS’, a world-class software, for real-time monitoring of nutrition-related parameters in 8 States. The system is one of a kind in the world and with its help 60,000 Anganwadis have already been given tablets to report growth parameters on a daily basis.
The problem of malnutrition is inter-generational and is dependent on multiple factors including proper Infant & Young Child Feeding practices, Immunization, Deworming, access to safe drinking water & proper sanitation, early initiation of breastfeeding and implementation of Anganwadi Services.
These factors can also be area specific or dependent on particular geographical conditions.
The issue of malnutrition can also be addressed fully when a convergent approach among all the three departments of the ministry including Health & Family Welfare, Social Welfare and Drinking Water and Sanitation is taken.