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Supplementary Child Nutrition:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

The government has listed the following steps, taken during the lockdown, for supplementary child nutrition:

  • To ensure continuous nutritional support to beneficiaries, anganwadi workers and helpers distributed supplementary nutrition at the doorstep of beneficiaries once in 15 days during COVID-19 as all anganwadi centres across the country were closed to limit the impact of the pandemic.
  • Anganwadi workers and helpers also assisted the local administration in community surveillance, creating awareness as well as doing other work assigned to them from time to time.

 

Need for:

Studies have shown that the pandemic could lead to increase in malnutrition due to loss of livelihood, disruption in food and health services.

  • In 2022 compared to 2019 the number of children under five years with wasting could increase by an additional 9.3 million; an estimated 2.6 million additional children were likely to be stunted; and there would be roughly 1,68,000 additional deaths of children under five years.

 

Covid-19 impact on malnutrition in children in India:

  • While the deteriorating facets of malnutrition continue to remain a matter of grave concern, the emergence of COVID-19 has only worsened it.
  • The partial closure of Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) along with disruptions in supply chains due to subsequent lockdowns has resulted in halting of mid-day meals scheme, reduced access to take home ration and restricted mobility to health care services.
  • According to a study published in journal Global Health Science 2020, the challenges induced by COVID-19 are expected to push another four million children into acute malnutrition.
  • This is also evident from India poor ranking, an abysmal 94th out of 107 countries on the Global Hunger Index 2020.

 

Government effort to fight malnutrition

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:

  1. PMMVY.
  2. POSHAN Abhiyaan.
  3. National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
  4. Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme.
  5. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
  6. The National Nutrition Strategy (NNS).

Sources: the Hindu.