Orissa to identify hunger pockets to check malnutrition

Orissa to identify hunger pockets to check malnutrition

Bhubaneswar: Under attack from different quarters for high malnutrition among children in the state, the Orissa government has decided to adopt a multipronged strategy and identify hunger pockets in order to check the menace.

Claiming that the rate of malnutrition among children up to the age of 36 months had been reduced to 40% from 54%, the state government plans to implement a policy on food fortification besides other steps, officials said today.

While under nutrition was now a subject under Women and Child Development (WCD) department, some other departments would work in tandem to further reduce the rate, state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said after a meeting of the Nutrition Council chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Besides WCD, departments of Health and Family Welfare, School and Mass Education, Panchayati Raj, Scheduled Tribe and Schedule Caste Welfare, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Rural Development, would work for ending malnutrition, he said.

The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department was also asked to prepare a policy on food fortification and identify pockets of hunger, Patnaik said adding, an additional 8,000 anganwadi centres would be opened in the state with an aim to strengthen the under nutrition programmes.

While contemplating to prepare a malnutrition map by undertaking a complete survey in all gram panchayats focusing on the KBK region and other backward districts, the government had also decided to set up 22 nutrition rehabilitation centres for treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), the chief secretary said.