Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Panel approves nutrition normsGovt. SchemesPrelims Only


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

  1. The National Technical Board on Nutrition (NTBN) has approved guidelines proposed by WCD Ministry for severe acute malnutrition.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. The measures are part of the community-based health management of children suffering from SAM.
  5. 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

  1. The guidelines outline the role of anganwadi workers and auxillary nurse midwives (ANMs) in identifying severely wasted children.
  2. They have to segregate those with oedema or medical complications and sending them to the nearest health facility or nutrition rehabilitation centres.
  3. The remaining children are enrolled into “community based management”.
  4. 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

  1. According to the recommendations, anganwadi workers have to provide modified morning snacks, hot cooked meals and take home ration for SAM children.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Notify of