- Global hunger report, Child malnutrition
- What is Hidden hunger?
- India Newborn Action Plan (INAP)
- National Nutrition Mission
- Fixing RBSK and WIFS
- Expert group on PNDT
- Tribal health problems
Current affairs related to public health, during September Week1 to October Week3.
- Part1: Mother, Children, Hunger, Nutrition related. You’re here
- Part2: Policy / Mission: Mental health, Ayush.
- Part3: “Selling” related: NPPA, Sravan, Cigar labelling.
Relevance in Mains GS2 syllabus:
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
|What?||global hunger index released|
|Who?||by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the global think tank on food security.|
|When||October W2, 2014.|
|Child mortality under 5|
- No. of underweight/ malnourished have declined. Mainly due to MNREGA, NRHM, ICDS and other schemes.
- This happened because fast growing economies increase investment in social sector programs. Similar phenomenon seen in Brazil and China.
Does it mean everything is hunky dory?
- In comparison to India, other countries on similar GDP/growth rate have pulled out more people from Hunger- example Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Ghana, Thailand and Vietnam – all achieving more than 55% increase in their GHI score.
- The report took dataset from a UNICEF report which took data from a health ministry survey.
- This thinktank hasn’t done separate survey of its own for crosschecking (Whether malnutrition in India is indeed reduced or not?)
- Other survey results conducted earlier show differing numbers. The current report numbers cannot be taken as the final number.
- Moreover, state-wise differences are not yet known.
- Highest no. of under5 underweight children live in India.
- 70% of Indian children are anemic.
- Hidden hunger still continues.
- If Government give free/ subsidized wheat and rice then hunger will be eliminated only from ‘energy / carbohydrates’ angles.
- But Deficiency in micronutrients and vitamins will continue. This is hidden hunger. Every third person in world suffers from Hidden hunger. (total 2 billion)
Why hidden hunger?
- During adolescence, pregnancy- higher amount of micronutrient needed but people lack the money / awareness to change died habits accordingly.
- Solutions: iodized salt, fortified flour, bio-fortification of crops, PDS reform, Education.
|Anemia among pregnant women||54%|
|Anemia among children under 5||59%|
(GS2) Mock Question: What is Hidden Hunger? List the initiatives taken by Government to tackle Hidden hunger and suggest further reforms, if any. 200 words.
We already saw the IMR, MMR and MDG related statistics under Ch.13 of Economic survey. So, let’s check some new initiatives in this regard:
|When?||2014, September W3|
Will also take Help from ASHA workers, Indian academy of pediatricians, NGOs and philanthropists like Bill Gates.
(GS2) Mock Question: Discuss the salient features of Newborn Action Plan. 100 words.
|Why||To reduce malnutrition among women and children under age of 3Target: 200 high burden district|
|Criticism||One component not yet implemented: reducing Anaemia among adolescent girls.|
|How?||Training Anganwadi workersNutrition councils at District level|
ICT for monitoring progress: Anganwadi workers to collect child data using tablet / mobile.
So what’s the problem?
- No. of children covered under these schemes are less than the no. of children under Mid-day meal enrollment.
- Meaning, lot of kids yet to benefit from these two schemes.
Therefore, HRD ministry asked all States and UTs for effective convergence among RBSK and the WIFS with the three main school education programmes viz
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
- Mid Day Meal (MDM)
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
Other Reforms taken to prevent Maternal and Child deaths
|ASHA||Worker makes home visit and educate new mothers on breastfeeding benefits, sanitation etc.|
But why do we need to review PNDT act?
|Census||child sex ratio|
- PNDT was made in 1994, ~20 years have passed but child sex ratio is not improved.
- PNDT prohibits the use of ultra-sound machines for sex-determination.
- Nowadays, Doctors using new methods under the guise of ‘genetic disorder testing’ to bypass the law.
- Hence the need to find out those new techniques and update PNDT act to prohibit them.
- SC in Sept,2014 ordered better implementation of the act.
- 100 district of GJ, MH, HN and PN (low sex ratio states) have been selected for “beti bachao beti padhao abhiyan”.
- PNDT empowers State and district committees to book the offenders. MPs should be involved in to keep check such Committees.
Generic and never ending topic. Following points/fodder based on one Hindu editorial.
Tribal lag behind in all nation averages on health, literacy, education and income.
|Tribal women||Tribal children|
|Anemia, high level of mortality and morbidity||Under 5 mortality among Tribals, is higher than other communities.|
|80% tribal women under-weight||>50%|
- Starvation deaths still reported in tribal aeras
- The chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes- rising among tribal.
- High prevalence of malaria, TB, diarrhea
But why all these problems?
- Most tribals defecates in the open => lack of sanitation =>diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems.
- 33% of tribals don’t get clean drinking water.
- Illiteracy and lack of health education
- Government setup Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in tribal areas but staff vacant due to naxal problem.
- Drugs, transport, electricity, communication infrastructure is lacking.
- Displacement during mining projects. Most tribal groups are traditionally hunter-gatherers. They are not accustomed to agriculture. Combine this with Illiteracy =>poverty => Dependence on PDS for survival=> hidden hunger=>less immunity from diseases.
What’re the Solutions?
- Tribals rely on Traditional healers. So they should be trained to dispense ORS for diarrhea and anti-malarial pills and send patients to the PHC in a timely manner.
- Tribal youth trained as community health workers or nurses. This will create incentive for them to stay work in their own communities- rather than migrating to cities in search of petty labour work.
- A successful example is the Adivasi hospital in the Nilgiris, where the management and most staff (except the doctors) are tribal.
- Offer more diverse range of food items in PDS with macro and micronutrients to tackle the “hidden hunger”.
- Infrastructure for housing, clean water, toilets, electricity, road and communication.
- Further research on herbal medicines, promote Ayush.