WORKSHOP ON NUTRITION FOR POLICYMAKERS & INFLUENCERS

WORKSHOP ON NUTRITION FOR POLICYMAKERS & INFLUENCERS

RAJSAMAND RAJASTHAN JANUARY 19, 2018

BACKGROUND

Rajsamand is a district, located in central Rajasthan and is known as one of the prime suppliers of marble and granite in India. Administratively Rajsamand is divided into 7 Subdivisions, 7 Tehsils and 7 blocks: Bhim, Deogarh, Amet, Kumbhalgarh, Rajsamand, Railmagra and Nathdwara. The total population of Rajsamand district (as per census 2011) was 1,156,597 including 581,339 males and 575,258 females. The sex ratio of total population (female per1000 male) is 990:1000.

As per the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4), 2015-16, the rate of under-5 stunting, wasting and severe wasting is 38.6%, 28.9 % and 11.8% respectively where in Rajasthan stunting is 39.1%, wasting is 23% and severe wasting is 11.8%. In Rajsamand, 38.8 % children are underweight too. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) report 2017 shows that 62% of women of reproductive age are anemic, so it affects their children to be in malnourished. Thus it has been chosen for the ’POSHAN’ (Proactive and Optimum care of children through Social-Household Approach for Nutrition) programme by the Government of Rajasthan. The status of malnutrition in Rajsamand demands a regular nutrition programme in Rajasthan.

Generally, 80% of malnourished children can be treated at the community level and only the remaining 20% children with medical complications require treatment at Malnutrition Treatment Centre (MTC). If the POSHAN programme can be implemented as a continuous and regular programme, then malnutrition can be managed at the community, itself. It is essential that such a programme run continuously in the state to monitor the health status and progress of the children. Thus, a workshop was planned by Action Against Hunger in association with the National Health Mission, with the objective of creating an understanding amongst the policy-makers of Rajsamand, about the importance of POSHAN programme and sensitize them for their support to propose budget and the programme as a regular nutrition programme in the district as well as state. The other objective of the workshop was to initiate convergence between several departments in the district to make the programme successful and address the issue of malnutrition with a holistic approach.

THE WORKSHOP

Ms. Akansha Pandey, Programme Manager, AAH/FHF briefed the participants about the concept, types, causes, & consequences of malnutrition in Rajasthan and in India. She also discussed about the status of malnutrition among children in context to Rajsamand and the effect of malnutrition on the lives of children and human development. To achieve the target of Sustainable Development Goals, reduction in malnutrition should be the top priority. She also explained the role of community mobilization to fight malnutrition and the pilot programme of POSHAN-I implemented by the National Health Mission (NHM), Rajasthan. She also discussed the key indicators and underlying determinants of malnutrition in Rajsamand. After discussion, she invited inputs from participants regarding good practices of POSHAN-I and status of Severely Acute Malnourished children in Rajsamand. “To overcome this problem we should focus on awareness generation on balanced diet, nutrition education, WaSH, involvement of PRIs, political leaders and the media”, she said.

Attendees at the workshop
Attendees at the workshop.

Dr. Suresh Chand Meena also welcomed and thanked all the officials and Action Against Hunger for organizing the workshop. He also shared that in phase I of the Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme, a total of 546 Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) children without complication were identified and 534 children recovered (rest 8 dropped out and 4 died) in three blocks of Rajsamand ( Bhim, Kumbhalgarh and Khambnor). He also shared that -the phase-II of the POSHAN programme will be implemented in four blocks of Rajsamand (Rajsamand, Railmagra, Devgarh and Amet). He also invited ICDS and other departments for a better collaboration to make the programme successful in Phase –II.

The District Collector, Shri. P.C. Berwal shared that health and education are the two important pillars of success and he always focuses on these two components for development. He also shared that malnutrition, not only affects the physical development but also affects the cognitive development of a child, which leads to low self-esteem and also affects his/her social relationships.

He also requested all the officials to serve their roles sincerely and take the issue seriously. He suggested NHM to include all the suggestions in their plan of action and train the ANMs and other women in the communities on health and nutrition through Ratri chaupal. He instructed the Deputy Director ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme), to find out the cases and help them through camps and counselling.

The Deputy Director, ICDS, Mr. Indaram Meghvanshi, shared about the initiatives such as screening, immunization, early breast-feeding etc. to combating malnutrition. He also proposed to organize camps in panchayat levels in collaboration with NHM to identify and counsel the beneficiaries.

The CDPO, Mr. Rajesh Sharma, shared that ICDS not only work on cure but also work on prevention of malnutrition. He shared that pregnant women are being trained on health care practices during pregnancy and also connecting to the local rituals such as Goud Bharai for pregnant women to promote mother nutrition and Annaprasan for introducing complimentary food to the children after 6 months of age. He also shared that in Rajsamand the department is planning to provide mobile phones to the Anganwadi Workers for counselling through technology in community.

The Principle Medical Officer, Mr.C.L. Dungarwal said that, malnutrition is one of the major causes of childhood mortality and it also affects their physical and cognitive development. Though the Government has launched various programmes, he invited other Non-Government Organisations to create awareness on the topic. “Special emphasis should be given on education on health and nutrition by incorporating chapters on these topics in curriculum”, he mentions.

The Deputy CM&HO Dr. Ikramuddin expressed that he is happy to announce that POSHAN-II will be implemented in four blocks of Rajsamand.

The workshop was successful with the participation from all the district departments and administration. The departments were aware about the importance of POSHAN programme but it was an opportunity to share their opinions and suggestions on same platform and to mobilize convergence between departments.

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