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   Jan 20

MALNUTRITION-WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY

Recently Prime Minister of India has said Malnutrition in India a “National Shame”. Nearly half of the children below 5 years are suffering from the malnutrition, the percentage being 42%. One in every third malnourished child in the world is Indian.

Its really shameful that inspite of the massive efforts by national and state government and also local agencies, the percentage of malnutrition is so high. Is it means that the programmes are not effective or they are not made effective? Corruption during the provision of the food to needy has severely hampered the progress.
Massive efforts include admission of the severely undernourished children to the hospital, their recovery and then discharge. But maintaining the recovery after discharge depends on parents who because of ignorance and poverty both cannot maintain it. The services are mainly concentrated in the health units, so greater disparity.
With the Malnutrition, vicious cycle of infections and vitamin and mineral deficiencies sets in.

Malnutrition is thus a social issue. If government is unable to provide the food at the reasonable cost, if clean drinking water and sanitation is not available, if parents are not aware regarding the importance of nutrition in children, no end to malnutrition.
The Uttar Pradesh sets an example of the state which need urgent intervention, percentage of the severely malnourished children is very high, reflecting all the above causes.

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