Number of malnourished children in the region estimated at 3,953

The State government is taking several steps to address malnutrition among children, Shashil Namoshi, MLC, has said.

He was speaking at a seminar on malnutrition organised by the departments of Information and Kannada and Culture, and the Government College for Women, here on Saturday.

The government is focussing on providing nutritious food at anganwadis and through the midday meal programme in primary and high schools, he said.

Sangeeta Kattimani, a faculty member at the government college, said that preventing malnutrition among children was as important as addressing it.

Child marriage

“Several times we forget that practices such as consanguine marriages can lead to syndromes. Getting girls married before they reach 18 years of age can lead to debilitating conditions. Studies have revealed that in Koppal district, nearly 44 per cent of girls marry before they turn 18,” she said.

According to Ms. Kattimani, of the 1,12,163 children not covered by anganwadis, 21,151 are suffering from severe malnutrition.

The number of malnourished children in Hyderabad Karnataka districts was estimated at 3,953, she said.

Deaths

There were reports of the death of 2,689 children from malnutrition-related causes in the last three years in Raichur district, Ms. Kattimani said. She said that pregnant women should register themselves at the nearest anganwadi centres and undergo regular check-ups.

They should insist on institutional deliveries and seek benefits of programmes like Janani Suraksha Yojane and Madilu, she said.

She urged the government to start additional child healthcare units under the Bal Sanjeevani scheme in government and private hospitals.

She also sought the establishment of primary health centres in uncovered villages.

Those present at the seminar included District Health and Family Welfare Officer Shivraj Sajjanshetty, Child Development Project Officer Tippanna Sirasagi, Government Pre-University College principal N.N. Hosur and T.S. Pawar from the Department of Information.

Folk singer Suhasini Phulare presented a cultural programme.

Keywords: Malnutrition

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