National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges

The Health Ministry has taken up several focused and targeted schemes for addressing nutrition challenges in the country in a convergence mode with the other ministries. We have focussed on immunisation, detection and supplementation.” This was stated by J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) at the 3rd meeting of the “National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges” in presence of Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, Member, Health & Nutrition, NITI Aayog; Rakesh Shrivastava, Secretary (WCD); Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health); Shri Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary AYUSH and other representatives of stakeholder ministries like M/o Drinking Water and Sanitation, M/o Food & Public Distribution and representatives of the states of Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar among others were present at the meeting.
Nadda further assured that the Health Ministry will proactively address the challenges of nutrition in the country. He said that the Health Ministry has accorded high priority to address widespread under nutrition in the country. There are different programme and schemes undertaken by the MoHFW to address the problem of under-nutrition amongst the children, he stated.
Highlighting the initiatives of the Ministry, he added that the MoHFW is one of the key stakeholders for implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan. “During POSHAN Maah (September 2018), 1.83 lakhs of activities have been conducted by MoHFW and Department of Health in the States and UTs with involvement of 2.58 crore participants,” Nadda stated. He further said that in order to promote and support breastfeeding, the Government has implemented “MAA – Mothers’ Absolute Affection” programme to improve breastfeeding coverage and appropriate breastfeeding practices in the country. A greater emphasis is laid on capacity building of the health workers on lactation management at both community and facility levels and 360 degree IEC campaign to create awareness regarding breastfeeding, he emphasized.
Nadda said that under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), systematic efforts are undertaken to detect nutrition deficiency among children and adolescents respectively. He added that the MoHFW organises National De-worming Day twice in a year and around 26.7 crore of children were administered Albendazole during February 2018. Nadda also stressed on the need for involving local leaders and sensitising them towards nutrition initiatives of the Government so that they can raise awareness about it amongst the people.
The Meeting Discussed Action Taken Report on the recommendations of the last National Council Meeting and the brief on POSHAN MAAH outcomes, Specifications of smart phones and growth monitoring devises, third Party outcome based evaluation of Poshan Abhiayan, roll out of e-ILA (e-incremental learning approach – Technology developed to support the field functionaries to improve their knowledge and skills in an ongoing incremental manner) and many other issues concerning effective implementation of Poshan Abhiyan.

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