Early Scope

Over 14,000 children suffer from malnutrition

Trichy: The monitoring system of the integrated child development scheme (ICDS) services of Trichy district has emphasised on the need for increased focus on improving the nutritional health of children, especially in some rural areas in the district.

Going by the data released by ICDS, there are 1,46,070 children below the age of five in the district. The monthly analysis of their body weight to monitor their nutritional status showed that 1,31,154 children were under normal nutritional status, while 14,538 suffered from mild malnutrition.

Project officer (PO), ICDS, Trichy T Bhuvaneswari said the weight of a woman before pregnancy plays a role in the health of a child. "Ideally, a woman should weigh 45kg before getting pregnant. It plays a vital role in determining the health of the child. There are several incidents where the women weighed around 35kg during their pregnancy which had an impact on the baby," said the PO.

A pregnant woman will naturally put on weight up to 10 kg to 12 kg, she said.

The study also pointed out that 378 children in Manapparai, Marungapurai and Thuraiyur area were severely malnourished. The children were referred for their ailments to the medical officers by ICDS staff.

According to ICDS, the poor economic status of the women led to such malnutrition even from adolescent stage while the poor health consciousness among the people also played a role.

The government has been providing supplementary nutritional food through ICDS to children from six months to three years, adolescent girls and anti-natal and post-natal mothers. Sadly, several of them skipped the supplementary food.

A child should have 780g of the supplementary nutritional food in six days of a week while adolescent girls should take 130g daily. Pregnant mothers and those who delivered the babies should have 950g in a week.

Under supplementary nutrition programme for six to 36 months old children, 69,516 children were benefited while 12,039 pregnant women and 11,811 lactating women were benefited. Under the scheme of SABLA, 47,390 adolescent girls were provided supplementary feeding to enrich their nutritional status.

Trichy district has 1,850 anganwadi centres in which 1,312 workers and 1,092 helpers are employed. The centres remained a place to experience early childhood care and education, said ICDS.

News Source