Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
- The National Nutrition Mission or the Poshan Abhiyaan — the world’s largest nutrition programme for children and mothers — must be stepped up in order to meet the targets set by the Centre to reduce stunting, wasting, and anaemia by 2022, warns a report by NITI Aayog with only a little over a year left to reach its goals.
- “Accelerating Progress on Nutrition In India: What Will It Take” is the third progress report on the National Nutrition Mission or the Poshan Abhiyaan by the NITI Aayog.
Highlights of the Report
- The third progress report (October 2019-April 2020) takes stock of the roll-out status on the ground and implementation challenges encountered at various levels through large scale datasets.
- The initial Reports I and II, focused majorly on the mission’s preparedness and implementation by States and UTs, respectively.
- On stunting, India’s targets are conservative as compared to the global target defined by the World Health Assembly (WHA), which is a prevalence rate of 5% of stunting as opposed to India’s goal of reducing stunting levels to 13.3% by 2022.
- The target of reducing prevalence levels of anaemia among pregnant women from 50.3% in 2016 to 34.4% in 2022 and among adolescent girls from 52.9% in 2016 to 39.66%, is also considered to be conservative as compared to the WHA’s target of halving prevalence levels.
- In the wake of the pandemic, experts warn that deepening poverty and hunger may delay achieving the goals defined under the Mission.
Way Forwards Suggested
- To improve complementary feeding using both behaviour change interventions and complimentary food supplements in the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
- To work towards investments in girls and women (education during childhood, reducing early marriage and early pregnancy, improving care during and after pregnancy) along with other social determinants.
- To improve water, sanitation, handwashing with soap and hygienic disposal of children’s stools with other effective interventions.
- To include interventions that go beyond the treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and also address moderate wasting, have the potential to achieve larger declines in wasting.
- To scale-up to reach facility-based treatment of SAM to all those needing in-patient care.
- To urgently release a full strategy for prevention and integrated management of wasting nationally.
- To scale-up scenario that focuses only on health sector interventions which will achieve modest improvements in anaemia among women of reproductive age.
- Poshan Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched in 2018 by the Prime Minister in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.
- It targets to reduce level of under-nutrition and other related problems by ensuring convergence of various nutrition related schemes
- 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.
-Source: The Hindu