Ministry of Health and Family Welfare10-December, 2015 17:59 IST
Shri Nadda releases “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015” and “Global Nutrition Report”

India committed to work with all stakeholders to eradicate malnutrition: Shri Nadda

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare alongwith Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development released the “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015” and “Global Nutrition Report” at a function ‘Made in India: Good Nutrition for All: Implications of the Global Nutrition Report and the India Health Report for Nutrition Security in India’, jointly organized by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Nadda urged policy makers to find out of the box solutions to eradicate malnutrition. He suggested that there is an urgent need for “Accelerating action at the state-level which is essential for changing the trajectory of India's children’s future as the battle against under nutrition must now be fought at ground level in communities and at homes” and “Strengthening full accountability for delivery of set of high impact nutrition interventions critical to ensuring accelerated improvements in nutrition.”

The Health Minister also emphasized on providing timely and evidence based holistic interventions using a continuum of care approach, in a convergent manner with all concerned departments such water, sanitation, hygiene, education, agriculture and food security. The Health Minister also added that “India remains committed to this critical issue and stands ready to work with all stakeholders to eradicate malnutrition”. The Health Minister further stated that “despite positive changes we have a continuing problem of under-nutrition, which means that our children may survive due to better health and vaccines but may not reach their full potential as productive citizens. Further, the performance at the all-India level masks significant differences in state level performance. This is unacceptable and we must understand that the importance of moving forward quickly – this can’t be business as usual.”

Further the Health Minister added that with the launch of the Rural Health Mission and the subsequent National Health Mission, India has moved from its earlier vertical approach to a new strategic approach, the RMNCH+A, bringing focus on all the life stages with nutrition as a cross cutting issue especially for adolescents. Improving adolescent girls’ nutrition and delaying first pregnancy is one of our key intervention under RKSK designed to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), and the Janani Shishu Saraksha Karyakram (JSSK) have contributed to a rapid increase in coverage of essential interventions. An essential part of these interventions is a 48 hour mandatory stay in facility during child birth to ensure counseling on appropriate nutrition for mother and child and initiation of breast feeding under the supervision of health service provider. Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres have been also established at district and sub district level health facilities for management of children with sickness and severe acute malnutrition. Other important interventions include: Vitamin A supplementation strategy in children for reduction in pneumonia and diarrhoea related mortality, reduced incidence of measles and diarrhoea. The National Iron Plus Initiative for control of anemia covers all life stages - including for the first time non pregnant and non-lactating women i.e. all women and reproductive age and all school going children, Shri Nadda Informed.

Shri Nadda said the Health Ministry has also developed a set of guidelines under the national guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding that recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Further he said, that the efforts of the Health Ministry are complimented by the work of Ministry of Women and Child Development - MoWCD’s Integrated Child Development Scheme Mission focuses on the under-3s and early childcare by developing and implementing key strategies to promote Infant and Young Child Feeding practices through intense home visits, use of relevant IEC, improving knowledge and skill base of nutrition counsellors, supervisors and frontline workers. To further strengthen efforts, the National Steering Committee on Breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding practices helmed by the MoWCD has been re-notified as National Steering Committee on Infant and Young Child Feeding to guide policy level decisions, Shri Nadda said.

Smt Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development highlighted the role of Angawadi in eradicating malnutrition. She also laid stress on imparting essential training to Angawadi workers and further reiterated the need for more coordination between Angawadi workers and ASHAs and also between various ministries.

Also present on this occasion, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR and Secretary, DHR, Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Shri K Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI, Prof. Ramanan Laxminarayan, distinguished Professor, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and senior officers of the Ministries.

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MV/BK
(Release ID :132975)