Malnutrition Current Affairs
The National Nutrition Month (Rashtriya Poshan Maah) is being celebrated across the country in September 2018 to mark fight against malnutrition. Union Ministry of Women and Child Development are spearheading various programmes during this month to spread broad awareness on issues related to malnutrition like stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight in children.
The National Nutrition Month will also focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers to eliminate the deficiencies prevailing in the Health sector. Ministry of Women and Child Development is working on eight focused themes like optimal breast feeding, growth monitoring, food fortification and girls’ education, hygiene and sanitation, diet and marriage at right age etc. to achieve improvement in nutritional status of children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers. It is also trying to reach about 11 crore women and children during this month through various grass-root activities, with the convergence of different ministries.
The decision to celebrate September as the National Nutrition Month every year was taken during the second meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under Poshan Abhiyaan (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) held in July 2018. POSHAN Abhiyaan- the National Nutrition Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2018 in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan with aim to bring down stunting of children in age group of 0-6 years from 38% to 25% by 2022.
India’s ambitious Zero Hunger Programme through interventions in farm sector will be launched on occasion of World Food Day (October 16) with focus on agriculture, nutrition and health in a symbiotic manner.
The Programme will be initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), MS Swaminathan Research Foundation and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
The programme consists of organisations of farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants and initiation of ‘Zero Hunger’ training. A genetic garden for biofortified plants contains germplasm of naturally biofortified crops through plant breeding. It has plants and crops that help supplement micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, zinc, vitamin A and iodine among others.
The Programme initially will be launched in three districts – Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Koraput (Odisha) and Thane (Maharashtra). These three districts will act as model of integrated approach to deal with hunger and malnutrition by adopting suitable agricultural or horticultural practices.
The Programme will ensure suitable methods of measuring impact of intervention by identifying the nutritional maladies in each district and applying appropriate agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry remedies.
This dedicated farm-based programme is in sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030. It will be in addition government’s plan to deal with issue of malnutrition through various other initiatives under its goal to make India malnutrition free by 2022.