Andhra Pradesh

Expansion of day care centres on cards

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WB study says they can make difference in nutrition levels

The State government is planning to open nutrition-cum-day care centres (NDCCs) in all the tribal villages/hamlets across the State by 2014-15.

The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) will fund part of the expansion by providing one-time grant of Rs. 3 lakh for each centre.

In addition to pregnant and lactating women, it is proposed to include adolescent girls in the programme to ensure that they receive right nutrition in their crucial growing years.

The government is in the process of identifying the resources needed for capacity building of village NDCC teams in the first two years of operation.

Broadening livelihood opportunities available for women at the NDCCs by tying up with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is under active consideration, according to a World Bank study. Plans were afoot to replicate the model across the country under the National Rural Livelihood Mission.

Promising potential

The study said it was early to measure overall reduction in the malnutrition levels, but indications revealed that NDCCs displayed promising potential to improve nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and their children in the long term.

The success of the programme was attributed to NDCCs which were basically driven, owned and supervised by the community unlike programmes that are administered in a top-down manner.

The report recalled that prevalence of malnutrition in children under the age of five years continues to be among the highest, higher than even sub-Saharan Africa in spite of strong economic growth.

The bank said the pilot project carried out under the Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Programme had shown that community-managed NDCCs could make a difference in this regard.

Over 4,200 NDCCs have been established in villages across the State since 2007 reaching out to 2.2 lakh women and young children so far. Many centres were established in areas home to predominantly disadvantaged communities and close to 1,100 centres are functioning in districts where Left-wing extremists are active.

The centres were built on the strong social infrastructure of the State's women SHGs and their village organisations that gained wide acceptance across the community as women were functioning as leaders, mentors and trainers.

Moreover, the NDCCs provide pregnant and lactating women and their children aged below two years with three cooked and well-balanced meals a day unlike programmes that provided supplementary nutrition in the form of dry ration for women to take home.



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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:49:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/expansion-of-day-care-centres-on-cards/article2985222.ece

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