“The Health Ministry has taken up several focused and targeted schemes for addressing nutrition challenges in the country in a convergence mode with the other Ministries.We have focussed on Immunisation, detection and supplementation.” This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare at the 3rd meeting of the “National Council on India’s Nutrition Challanges” in presence of SmtManeka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development.Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Dr.Vinod Kumar Paul, Member, Health & Nutrition, NITI Aayog, ShriRakeshShrivastava, Secretary (WCD), SmtPreeti Sudan, Seceratry (Health),Shri Rajesh Kotecha,Secretary AYUSH and other representatives of stakeholder Ministries like M/o Drinking Water and Sanitation, M/o Food & Public Distribution and representatives of States of Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar among others were present at the meeting.ShriNadda further assured that the Health Ministry will proactively address the challenges of nutrition in the country. He said that the Health Ministry has accorded high priority to address wide spread under nutrition in the country. There are different programme and schemes undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to address the problem of under-nutrition amongst the children, he stated.
Highlighting the initiatives of the Ministry, ShriNadda said that the Health Ministry is one of the key stakeholders for implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan. “During POSHAN Maah (September 2018), 1.83 lakhs of activities have been conducted by MoHFW and Department of Health in the States and UTs with involvement of 2.58 Cr participants,” ShriNadda stated. He further said that in order to promote and support breastfeeding, Government has implemented “MAA- Mothers’ Absolute Affection” programme to improve breastfeeding coverage and appropriate breastfeeding practices in the country. A greater emphasis is laid on capacity building of the health workers on lactation management at both community and facility levels and 360 degree IEC campaign to create awareness regarding breastfeeding, he emphasized.ShriNadda said that under the RashtriyaBalSwasthyaKaryakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishore SwasthyaKaryakram (RKSK), systematic efforts are undertaken to detect nutrition deficiency among children and adolescents respectively. He added that the Ministry organisesNational De-worming Day twice in a year and around 26.7 Cr of children were administered Albendazole during Feb round 2018.ShriNadda also stressed on the need for involving local leaders and sensitising them towards nutrition initiatives of the Government so that they can raise awareness about it amongst the people.The Meeting Discussed Action Taken Report on the recommendations of the last National Council Meeting and the brief on POSHAN MAAH outcomes, Specifications of smart phones and growth monitoring devises, third Party outcome based evaluation of PoshanAbhiayan, roll out of e-ILA (e-incremental learning approach- Technology developed to support the field functionaries to improve their knowledge and skills in an ongoing incremental manner) and many other issues concerning effective implementation of PoshanAbhiyan.