40% of world's stunted children are in India--Global Nutrition Report 2015

By Poorva Chavan | Updated:Fri, December 11, 2015 11:07am

Malnutrition rates still high in India despite positive growth!

The Global Nutrition Report 2015 has been released and the report highlights the sad state of child malnourishment across the world. It says that malnutrition affects every third person on the planet and if not tackled at the right time can affect the sustainable development goals of the world. Over 2 million people on this planet suffer from micronutrient malnourishment and 161 million children are stunted, 51 million children don't weigh enough for their height (wasted) and 42 million are overweight and none of these children are growing healthily. Read:Difference between malnutrition and undernutrition


India's malnutrition status--

Stunting in children

The report highlights that India contains around 40 million of world's stunted children under five years and also contains nearly 50% of world's wasted children. Despite these high rates, a 2013-2014 report by the government and UNICEF found that stunting had fallen from 48 % in 2005-2006 to 39% in 2014 which is double the rate of decline compared with the period 1999-2006. At the state level, stunting declined evenly across all states, however, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh are of concern because of already high levels of stunting and lower rates f decline when compared to other states.

Wasting in Children

When it comes to wasting of children, while most states show a decline, not all states do. Arunachal Pradesh, Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Mizoram show an increase in wasting, with the increase in first two states being marginal. However, wasting rates vary with the season even more than stunting rates do.

Breastfeeding rates

The breastfeeding rate has increased all across the country from 34 to 62 %. In 2005 2006 only four states had rates of 60 percent or higher and now all 28 states have managed to achieve that rate. Another important and positive finding of the report is the fact that, states with the lowest rates in 2005 2006 have achieved rates in the 60 70 percent range. Bihar, the worst ranked state in 2005 2006, quadrupled its rate of exclusive breastfeeding and is now ranked above 16 other states. Read: 30 percent school children malnourished

Commenting on the report, Health Minster J P Nadda said that, 'There is a need for 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.' 'Accelerating action at the state level is essential for changing the trajectory of India's children's future as the battle against malnutrition must now be fought at the ground level in communities and at homes.' Read: Find out if your child is malnourished with these signs

Stating that the government was committed to eradicating malnutrition, Nadda said 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 reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and adolescent (RMNCH+A) -- bringing focus on all 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 designed to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition.

'The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), and the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) have contributed to a rapid increase in coverage of essential interventions,' he said. 'An essential part of these interventions is a 48-hour mandatory stay in a facility during childbirth to ensure counselling on appropriate nutrition for mother and child and initiation of breastfeeding under the supervision of health service provider,' he said. Nadda also informed that his ministry has developed a set of guidelines on 'infant and young child feeding' that recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, who was present on the occasion, highlighted the role of Anganwadi in eradicating malnutrition.

With inputs from IANS

Image source: Getty Images





Published:Fri, December 11, 2015 10:52am | Updated:Fri, December 11, 2015 11:07am


Malnutrition Child Malnutrition J P Nadda
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