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Yoga, herbs, indigenous practices: Centre’s prescription for acute malnutrition

AYUSH Centres, yoga, medicinal herbs and indigenous traditional practices are part of the Central government’s prescription for severe acute malnourished (SAM) children.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development in its guidelines issued to various State governments has advised that a drive be conducted to identify such children and if necessary they should be referred to hospitals and AYUSH centres for treatment.

“States shall launch a drive for identification of SAM children for referral to hospitals [if required] and AYUSH centres in accordance with the detailed action plan approved by the District Nutrition Committee to be finalised in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer. This exercise shall be completed by January 31, 2021,” reads the guidelines issued on January 13 and uploaded on the website of the Ministry recently. Though the guidelines were about nutrition, there was no mention of the impact of COVID-19 on malnourishment levels though global experts have alerted that there will be increase in wasting, stunting and under-five deaths.

“The Science of AYUSH is a system that builds and promotes health and wellness and can address the requirements of nutrition by tapping into the indigenous traditional practices,” the guidelines harped.

The Ministry detailed the roles that AYUSH Centres and District AYUSH in-charge are required to fulfil. The centres have to leverage “principles and therapeutics of Ayurveda as modalities of intervention for community nutrition and health problems” and their district in-charge has to focus on “prevention of diseases and promotion of wellness through yoga, cultivation of medicinal herbs in Poshan Vatikas [nutrition gardens] and preparation of AYUSH formulations to address conditions like anaemia”.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 12:37:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/yoga-herbs-indigenous-practices-centres-prescription-for-acute-malnutrition/article33660801.ece

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