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September 2018 : National Nutrition Month

September 2018 : National Nutrition Month

 

The National Nutrition Month is being celebrated across the country in September to mark the fight against malnutrition. During this month, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development will organise various programmes to spread broad awareness on issues related to malnutrition like stunting, undernutrition, anaemia and low birth weight in children.

Key Focus :

  • The month will focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers to eliminate the deficiencies prevailing in the Health sector.
  • The WCD ministry is trying to reach about 11 crore women and children during this month through various grass-root activities with the convergence of different ministries.

 

About National Nutrition Mission (NNM) :

The National Nutrition Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8, 2018 in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.

The NNM is a comprehensive approach towards raising nutrition level in the country on a war footing. It will comprise the mapping of various schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition, incentivizing states/UTs for meeting the targets, incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT-based tools, eliminating registers used by AWWs and introducing measurement of the height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).

It will also comprise social audits, setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres and involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through various activities, among others.

The mission has been set up with a three year budget of Rs 9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.

Under the mission, the WCD Ministry is working on eight focused themes, which include optimal breastfeeding, growth monitoring, hygiene and sanitation, food fortification and girls' education, diet and marriage at the right age.

Key Objective :

  • The mission aims to achieve improvement in nutritional status of children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • It targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce low birth weight by at least 2 per cent per annum.
  • Though the target to reduce stunting is at least 2 per cent per annum, the mission would strive to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022.

 

India’s policy environment for nutrition is robust and the country has seen some progress in areas such as childhood stunting and anemia among women. However, the data has revealed tremendous inter-district variability and inequity. Researchers have been digging deep into the NFHS-4 data, which was released in February 2018, to understand the drivers of India’s progress on malnutrition, to assess the emergence of new problems such as overweight and non-communicable diseases, and also to assess how policies and programs are reaching the target populations. The objective of this day-long event is to converge the emergent findings on a unified platform and rally stakeholders around these findings to encourage strategic investments and further catalyze the improvements in nutrition outcomes and enhance the effectiveness of interventions.

To support this initiative with data and evidence, International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) is co-hosting a knowledge sharing event on “Strengthening Actions for Nutrition in India: Insights from the National Family Health Survey” at the India International Center, New Delhi.

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