Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Poverty & development issues
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Nutrition norms mentioned in the newscard
Mains level: Measures to eradicate severe acute malnutrition.
Fresh food must for SAM
- The National Technical Board on Nutrition (NTBN) has approved guidelines proposed by WCD Ministry for severe acute malnutrition.
- India’s top nutrition panel has recommended that severely malnourished children must be fed freshly cooked food prepared from locally available cereals, pulses and vegetables.
- This is to be distributed by anganwadi centres, as part of the country’s first-ever guidelines for nutritional management of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
- The measures are part of the community-based health management of children suffering from SAM.
- The government had, till now, only put in place guidelines for the hospitalization of severely wasted children who develop medical complications.
Greater role for Anganwadi workers
- The guidelines outline the role of anganwadi workers and auxillary nurse midwives (ANMs) in identifying severely wasted children.
- They have to segregate those with oedema or medical complications and sending them to the nearest health facility or nutrition rehabilitation centres.
- The remaining children are enrolled into “community based management”.
- This includes provision of nutrition, continuous monitoring of growth, administration of antibiotics and micro-nutrients as well as counselling sessions and imparting of nutrition and health education.
New practices for Meals
- According to the recommendations, anganwadi workers have to provide modified morning snacks, hot cooked meals and take home ration for SAM children.
- The morning snacks and hot-cooked meals, which are served at anganwadis to children between the age of three to six years, should be “prepared freshly and served at the centralised kitchen/ anganwadi centres.
- Locally available cereals, pulses, green leafy vegetables and tubers, vitamin C rich fruits, as well as fresh milk and 3-4 eggs every week” have also been prescribed.
- Importantly, the government has also revised the method to be used to measure wasting and advised calculating weight based on the height of children instead of the mid-upper arm circumference.