Discuss the problem of undernutrition in India. What are the key objec...
Jan 23, 2017
Discuss the problem of undernutrition in India. What are the key objectives of National Nutrition Mission (NNM)? Discuss the components of NNM?
The “Global Nutrition Report 2016” once again demonstrates India’s slow overall progress in addressing chronic malnutrition, manifest in stunting (low weight for age), wasting (low weight for height), micronutrient deficiencies and over-weight. Our track record in reducing the proportion of undernourished children over the past decade has been modest at best, and lags what other countries with comparable socio-economic indicators have achieved. In a ranking of countries from lowest to highest on stunting, India ranks 114 out of 132 countries.
Aggregate levels of undernutrition in India remain shockingly high, despite the impressive reduction in stunting in the last decade. The segments most at risk continue to be adolescent girls, women and children, and among them Scheduled Castes and Tribes are the worst off, reflecting the insidious economic and sociocultural deprivation so prevalent in India. According to the most recent United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report, nearly 50 per cent of women in India are married before they turn 18, in violation of the law.
The poor nutritional status of adolescent girls, combined with child marriage and multiple pregnancies even before becoming an adult, lead to another dismal fact, that 30 per cent of all children are born with low birth weight. So we add approximately seven million, potentially wasted and stunted, to our population every year. For India to be healthy and break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition, we have to focus on the health, nutrition and social status of children, adolescent girls and women as a priority. In order to achieve this, Ministry of Women and Chid Development launched the National Nutrition Mission (NNM).
The key objectives of this program is as under:
- To create awareness relating to malnutrition amongst pregnant women, lactating mothers, promote healthy lactating practices and importance of balanced nutrition;
- To improve maternal and child under-nutrition in 200 high burdened districts and to prevent and reduce the under-nutrition prevalent among children below 3 years;
- To reduce incidence of anaemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.
There are two components of the National Nutrition Mission:
- Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign against malnutrition: To create awareness about nutrition challenges and promote home-level feeding practices.
- Multi-sectoral Nutrition Programme: to address Maternal and Child Under-Nutrition in 200 high-burden districts, which aims at prevention and reduction in child under-nutrition (underweight prevalence in children under 3 years of age) and reduction in levels of anaemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.