Poshan Abhiyaan needs a boost
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NITI Aayog report suggests accelerated actions on multiple fronts to meet targets
- The National Nutrition Mission or the Poshan Abhiyaan, the world’s largest nutrition programme for children and mothers, must be stepped up to meet the targets set by the Centre to reduce stunting, wasting and anaemia by 2022.
- The government’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers was launched in 2018 with specific targets to be achieved by 2022.
- It aims to reduce stunting and wasting by2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children and anaemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- More than a third of the children under five face stunting and wasting and 40% aged between one and four are anaemic.
- Over 50% of pregnant and other women were found to be anaemic.
- The report calls for a need to lay as much emphasis on complementary feeding as it does on breastfeeding, which it points out can help avert 60% of the total stunting cases in India.
- On stunting, the review says that 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 conservative.