Centre to conduct a children’s health Census

Published on March 28, 2022 by

According to the recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), data, one-third of children between 6-23 months in Karnataka get fed the minimum required number of times recommended per day.  

“The first two years (after childbirth) is when 85-90 percent of the brain get developed. That’s when the calorie requirement has to be met. Once you lose that age, you can’t reverse it back. Also, there is a lack of awareness among rural communities. A lot of myth about breastfeeding and complimentary food is there,.” said Dr. Sanjay Swamy, a pediatrician. The NFHS-5 data also showed that 45 percent of children between 6-8 months don’t get breastfed, and complimentary food is required.  

Ministry of Women and Child Development said that as of October 2021, more than 33 lakh children are malnourished in India. “We were not giving food from our center to children at home due to COVID-19. Now, we’re trying to give pulses and oats to those kids who are coming. Also, to those who are not coming to the centers.” Anupama, an Anganwadi Worker, said.  

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), “Undernutrition is associated with 45 percent of child deaths as first-two years of optimal nutrition during this period lowers child morbidity and mortality.”  

Dr. Nidhi Nigam, a nutritionist, said, “Poor nutrition during this time may cause long-term harm to developing brain. It can lead to deficiencies and lack of micronutrients which may cause the weaker immune system and have a lasting effect on child’s growth and development.”  

However, the Centre on Thursday announced that they will conduct a children’s health Census in India between 20-28 March 2022. The Census aims to find the number of obese and malnourished children with the help of Anganwadi workers and NGOs.  

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