National Nutrition Strategy released

The strategy looks at eradicating malnourishment

GN Bureau | September 6, 2017


#malnourishment   #nutrition strategy   #Niti Aayog  
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)

India pays an income penalty of 9 to 10 percent as the workforce was stunted during their childhood, showed the National Nutrition Strategy released by NITI Aayog. 

The government think-tank says that with a benefit to cost ratio of 16:1 for 40 low and middle-income countries, there is a well-recognized rationale, globally, for investing in nutrition.  The recently published National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) results reflect some progress, with a decline in the overall levels of under nutrition in both women and children. However, the pace of decline is far below what numerous countries with similar growth trajectories to India have achieved. 
 
The strategy envisages a framework wherein the four proximate determinants of nutrition – uptake of health services, food, drinking water and sanitation and income and livelihoods – work together to accelerate decline of under nutrition in India. Currently, there is also a lack of real time measurement of these determinants, which reduces our capacity for targeted action among the most vulnerable mothers and children.
 
 
Addressing India’s nutrition requirement, strategy lays down the roadmap for effective action, among both implementers and practitioners, in achieving nutrition objectives. “Supply side challenges often overshadow the need to address behavioural change efforts to generate demand for nutrition services. This strategy, therefore, gives prominence to demand and community mobilisation as a key determinant to address India's nutritional needs,” said the press release on Tuesday. 
 
It also calls for a Kuposhan Mukt Bharat, linked to Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. The aim is to ensure that states create customised state/district action plans to address local needs and challenges. This is especially relevant in view of enhanced resources available with the states, to prioritise focused interventions with a greater role for panchayats and urban local bodies. 
 
The first consultation to evolve the strategy was held in NITI Aayog on October 28, 2015. The Aayog was tasked with preparing the draft by the end of December 2015. 
 

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