Despite 11 Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres, says a report by non-government organisation Child Rights and You (CRY) and its State partner Alliance for People’s Rights.

Despite the setting up of 11 operational Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres, working under the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, to address severe under-nutrition in children, those living in the Capital’s urban slums face acute malnourishment as they hardly avail of this referral service.

This has been revealed by a report by non-government organisation Child Rights and You (CRY) and its State partner Alliance for People’s Rights.

The other key finding of the survey pertain to poor infrastructural facilities in anganwadi centres where, it said, shortage of space, difficult approach and poor ventilation hampered the quality of service delivery.

For a reality check, children between 0-5 years were surveyed in five districts (South-West, West, North West, North East and North).

Challenge

CRY associate general manager Jaya Singh said: “The fast pace of urbanisation poses a significant challenge to children living in urban slums; especially newborns and infants whose health entirely depends on the availability of the mother to breastfeed, the ability of the care taker and household to provide nutritious meals, the quality of public healthcare system and overall community support.”

Ms. Singh said the analysis suggests that there is an urgent need to strengthen government mechanism and to ensure access to these services to curb ever growing menace of malnutrition.

Adding to the problem of children were issues of lack of community awareness, socio-cultural practices such as lack of exclusive breastfeeding, early age of marriage and gender discrimination.