Continuous monitoring of remedial measures planned in tribal hamlets

Three days after The Hindu reported that malnutrition continues to stalk tribal children in Attappady, various government agencies have decided to collectively combat the menace by not just ensuring nutritious food and medicines to the affected children but also ensuring continuous monitoring of the affirmative actions.

Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) Director P.V. Radhakrishnan said on Tuesday that a meeting of representatives of the Departments of Tribal Welfare and Health, National Rural Health Mission, local self- government institutions, Integrated Child Development Project, and the Kudumbasree Poverty Eradication Mission was already held. Representatives of the people from the region also participated in the meeting and a united mechanism to address the issue was evolved, he said.

Special care and protection would be accorded to 127 children who had been categorised as suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The rest of the 572 children below the age of five had been categorised as suffering from moderate acute malnutrition. Special care would be accorded to pregnant women and lactating mothers, he said.

The government had already sanctioned Rs.126 lakh for 2014-15 for providing nutritious food to children in the region. The menu in Anganwadis and other centres providing nutritious food would be modified, taking into account suggestions from doctors. The nutritious food supply centres would start functioning on June 23. Software had been prepared for regularly updating the health condition of the children, he said. As many as 240 health volunteers selected from the Kudumbasree Mission will visit tribal hamlets regularly to identify fresh cases of malnutrition.

The Field Publicity wing of the Union government would be entrusted with the task of screening films to create awareness among the tribal people of the need to have nutritious food. The grama panchayats had promised to provide special vehicles to health activists and doctors to reach remote tribal hamlets.

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