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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Maharashtra begins screening children to identify and treat malnutrition

Considering the possibility of rise in malnutrition amid the Covid-19 pandemic and monsoon, a ‘search operation’ is being conducted till August 31 to find malnourished children and provide them adequate nutrition

By: Express Web Desk |
August 24, 2021 6:39:32 pm
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Considering the possibility of rise in malnutrition amid the Covid-19 pandemic and monsoon, the Department of Women and Child Development (WCD) has started implementing the ‘Nandurbar pattern’, which was followed in the tribal-dominated district to augment nutritional levels, across the state.

As part of the efforts, a ‘search operation’ is being conducted till August 31 to find children in Moderately Acute Malnourished (MAM) and Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) categories.

“Children who fall under SAM and MAM categories will be given proper treatment,” said Minister for Women and Child Development Yashomati Thakur, as she announced the slogan ‘Sakhsam Mahila, Sudrudh Balak, Suposhit Maharashtra’ under the initiative.

The drive has so far identified 86,768 kids under SAM and 4,97,007 under MAM. Thakur had held a meeting after studying problems faced by the malnutrition eradication programme.

The WCD Department has directed that children in SAM and MAM categories should be admitted to Child Development Centres at the village level and energy-dense nutritious food (EDNF) provided to them immediately.

The teams have also been tasked with conducting health check-ups and vaccinations for children up to six years, pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls.

Special teams of expert doctors appointed under the mission include community health officers, primary health centre medical officers and special medical officers, besides anganwadi supervisors, anganwadi workers and health workers.

WCD officials said the check-ups will be carried out in a scientific manner with the help of the health department. The mission also aims at capacity building of health workers and the WCD Department’s village-level staff on malnutrition and maternal counselling.

Integrated Child Development Scheme Commissioner Rubal Agarwal expressed optimism about the drive. “Thanks to such campaigns, last year we were able to save the lives of many children and their mothers by providing them proper treatment. Every life is important, so we see this as a life-saving campaign. Appropriate nourishment will be given to SAM and MAM children through this campaign. The department has focused on ensuring an uninterrupted supply of nutritious food. If there is any problem in any area due to Covid or monsoon, we will find a solution,” Agarwal said.

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