Rajasthan launches nutrition-focused programmes for women, children

A series of nutrition-focused welfare programmes launched in Rajasthan have sought to benefit women and children affected by disruption in the routine schemes, such as the Integrated Child Development Services and midday meal scheme, during the pandemic. The micronutrient crisis has emerged as a major challenge before the State government.

Experts have called for adopting strategies to accelerate micronutrient supplementation and strengthen food fortification. Since the impending third wave is likely to worsen the situation, the policies should lay emphasis on an effective nutrition surveillance.

State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Sangeeta Beniwal said here on Thursday the nutrition-focused programmes, such as the Indira Rasoi Yojana providing food to the poor and needy twice a day, had extended relief to people during the pandemic. A healthy lifestyle for pregnant women was also being promoted with the government’s support to enable them to give birth to healthy children.

Sudhir Bhandari, Principal, Sawai Man Singh Government Medical College, Jaipur, said the children experiencing malnutrition were more likely to suffer from the pandemic complications. “We must strengthen food security and widen the supply chain for vulnerable population,” he said.

Streamlining of interventions

The experts recommended steps for streamlining of nutrition interventions while addressing a virtual event on “fighting nutrition crisis” here.

D.K. Mangal, Advisor to the School of Public Health at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) University, said the nutritious, diverse and safe foods in early childhood and access to basic health, water and sanitation would help improve nutritional status of women and children.

Udaipur-based Narayan Seva Sansthan president Prashant Agarwal said the village panchayats would play a significant role in strengthening nutrition schemes and providing nutrition education in schools. Mr. Agarwal advocated the formulation of policies based on gender equity for nutrition.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 4:24:12 PM |

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