State Government launches Bal Shakti Yojana for their rehabilitation

BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Government has launched Bal Shakti Yojana for treatment and nutritional rehabilitation of severely malnourished children in the State, Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Ajay Vishnoi said.

Malnutrition has affected 33.48 lakh children in 0-5 year age group in the State as per the report of seventh Bal Sanjivani Abhiyan conducted from October 15 to November 14, 2005.

The number constitutes roughly 50 per cent of total children in the State.

About 10,913 children among them come under grade-4 malnutrition category, while 67,352 children come under grade-3. Majority of them come from poor and weaker sections.

The scheme to be jointly implemented by Public Health and Women and Child Development Departments aims at bringing down the number of children with grade-4 and grade-3 malnutrition to one per cent.

Mr. Vishnoi said the scheme would provide necessary medical services to children identified as afflicted by grade-4 and grade-3 malnutrition during the Bal Sanjivani Abhiyan conducted by Women and Child Development department.

Families to be educated

``Families of such children would be educated about the importance of nutrition and trained them in preparing nutrition-rich food,'' he said in an official release here.

He claimed that the Bal Shakti Yojana would be a milestone towards eradicating malnutrition.

The Bal Sanjivani Abhiyans are held twice a year in Madhya Pradesh.

Pointing out that death rate of children with grade-4 malnutrition was 20 per cent, he said these children needed immediate treatment and nutritional rehabilitation. The scheme would serve the purpose.

Block-level camp

Mr. Vishnoi said one-day block-level camp would be organised for selection of children for medical treatment under the scheme. More than one camp would be held in large blocks.

A medical team comprising two paediatrics would provide services at these camps.

Private doctors would be enlisted in case of non-availability of Government doctors at district or block level services, he said.

Anganwadi workers would be responsible for bringing the children with grade-3 and grade-4 malnutrition to these camps.

Mr. Vishnoi said the procedure for medical examination of children, distribution of medicines, counselling of parents at the camps and salient features of the scheme would be given wide publicity.

In case hospitalisation of a child was required but his parents were not willing, necessary medicines and other facilities would be provided.

The necessity of immediate treatment would be ascertained at the camp, he added.

Children who need immediate hospitalisation would be sent to medical institutions concerned, while other children would be given the date and place of hospitalisation.

Special nutritious food would be provided to children through Anganwadi centres. For this, their mothers would be issued coupons. A sum of Rs. 15,000 would be provided to every block for organising the camps, the minister said.

Training for mothers

The mothers of children, who do not need treatment, would be provided one-day training at sector-level for proper care of children and preparing nutritious food at low cost.

Mr. Vishnoi said Rs. 1 lakh would be provided to every district for treatment, examination and medicines to be provided to malnourished children. The amount would be meant for all health institutions of the district, the release added. UNI