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Measures to Address Malnutrition Among Women and Children

Focus: GS II- Health

Why in News?

The Government has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition and is making serious efforts to address this issue.

Poshan Abhiyaan

  • The term ‘POSHAN’ in the name of the programme stands for ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition’.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan launched in 2018 aims at improving the nutritional status of Children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.
  • According to ‘Mission 25 by 2020’, the National Nutrition Mission aims to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan focuses on convergence among partner Ministries leveraging technology and Jan Andolan among other things, to address issue of malnutrition comprehensively.
  • Near-real time reporting by field functionaries and improved MIS is aimed at smooth implementation of scheme and better service delivery.
  • It also targets stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and low birth rate.
  • It will monitor and review implementation of all such schemes and utilize existing structural arrangements of line ministries wherever available.
  • Its large component involves gradual scaling-up of interventions supported by on-going World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country by 2022.
  • Its vision is to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
Implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan is based on the four-point strategy/pillars of the mission:
  • Inter-sectoral convergence for better service delivery
  • Use of technology (ICT) for real time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children
  • Intensified health and nutrition services for the first 1000 days
  • Jan Andolan

Mission Poshan 2.0

  • The supplementary nutrition programme and the Poshan Abhiyaan has been merged to launch Mission Poshan 2.0.
  • The programme will be aimed at improving and strengthening nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes.

Anganwadi Centres

  • Anganwadis or day-care centres are set up under the centrally sponsored Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
  • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Anganwadi centres provide a package of six services: supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, immunisation, nutrition and health education, as well as referral services.
  • The primary aim of the scheme is to reduce infant mortality and child malnutrition.
  • Beneficiaries of these centers will be Children in the age group of zero to six years, and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • It was started by the Government of India In 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
  • The beneficiaries under the Anganwadi Services Scheme are identified on the basis of Aadhaar.

Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

  • Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit program run by the government of India since 2017.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme being executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for the first live birth.
  • It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
  • Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).
  • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force are the target beneficiaries including PW&LM who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) – Govt. Schemes

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), a Centrally-Sponsored scheme, is an Indian government welfare programme that provides food, preschool education, and primary healthcare to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
  • The scheme was started in 1975 and aims at the holistic development of children and empowerment of mother.
  • The scheme primarily runs through the Anganwadi centers and the scheme is under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Objectives of ICDS are:
  • To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
  • To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
  • To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
  • To achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
  • To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
  • Services Provided by the ICDS are:
  • Supplementary Nutrition (SNP)
  • Health & Nutrition Check-Up
  • Immunization
  • Non-Formal Education for Children in Pre-School
  • Health and Nutrition Education
  • Referral services
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September 2022
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