Poshan Abhiyan Current Affairs
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Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has announced to observe September 2018 as the National Nutrition Month to mark the country’s fight against malnutrition. The month-long intensive campaign will be undertaken with an aim of reaching every household with message of nutrition — ‘har ghar poshan tyohar’ (every house a celebration of nutrition).
National Nutrition Month
It will promote antenatal care, breastfeeding, fight anemia, convey messages about importance of nutrition for girls and right age of marriage, deliver messages about importance of growth monitoring and also promote hygiene and sanitation. It will be jointly organised by NITI Ayog, Ministries of Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Human Resources Development (HRD), Information and Broadcasting, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Tribal Affairs, Minority Affairs and AYUSH.
India has very high burden of malnutrition. According to National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4), 38.% of India’s children aged less than 5 years are stunted (less height for their age), 21% are wasted (less weight for their height) and 35.7% are underweight. Between 2005-06 (when NFHS-3 was conducted) and 2015-16 (when NFHS-4 was conducted) the percentage of wasted children went up from 19.8% to 21% and percentage of severely wasted children went up from 6.4% to 7.5%. India also ranks low 100th out of 119 countries on 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) and was placed at high end of “serious” category in GHI severity scale, owing mainly to fact that one in every five children under age 5 is “wasted” (low weight for height). Government already has embarked on Rs 9000-crore to Poshan Abhiyan (National Nutrition Mission) to fight malnutrition. It was launched in March 2018. The mission targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight. The target of mission is to bring down stunting among children up to age of six years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) had organized 2nd meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan in New Dehli. It was chaired by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.
Key Highlights of Meeting
National Council approved inclusion of 32 new districts under POSHAN Abhiyaan in the current year. This will help to saturate all districts of Union Territories (UTs) that were left out under Phase-I and Phase-II. It will also provide full coverage to those states, where up to 5 districts had been left. Thus facilitating in saturation of 8 new States/UTs and taking total number of States/UTs covered under POSHAN Abhiyaan to 23. It also gave in-principle approval to guidelines for construction of anganwadi centres in urban areas and slums under aanganwadi services. During the meeting, WCD Ministry presented three modules from online course for nutrition developed with assistance of National Institute of Nutrition. These courses will be hosted independently by WCD Ministry and National Institute of Nutrition portals. It was also announced to celebrate month of September as National Nutrition Month every year.
POSHAN Abhiyaan (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) was launched in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan in March 2018. It aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
Targets: It aims to reduce level of under-nutrition and other related problems by ensuring convergence of various nutrition related schemes. It also targets stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and low birth rate.
Components: Its large component involves gradual scaling-up of interventions supported by ongoing World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country by 2022. The Abhiyaan will monitor and review implementation of all such schemes and utilize existing structural arrangements of line ministries wherever available.