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Nutrition challenge

Mains- GS-2 Governance

1. Covid 19 has amplified the malnutrition crisis.

2. This is because of the pressure exerted by the pandemic on income, food consumption and essential services.

3. There needs to be an evidence-based, integrated, outcome-focused approach to address India’s nutrition challenge.

4. Government is already moving on the right path but there is a need to move fast.

Measures taken

POSHAN Guidelines

1. POSHAN and POSHAN 2.0 have been tasked to address malnutrition.

2. Recently guidelines for POSHAN 2.0 were released.

3. It focuses on the first 1000 days of a child's life.

4. It aims to prioritize

a. Women and girl health

b. Address nutritional deficiencies through fortification

c. Provision take-home rations

5. It has placed accountability for the first time at the district level.

6. Nutrition indicators are included in the KPIs (key performance indicators) of district collectors(DC).

7. DM/DC is expected to set up district nutrition committees, review progress and take appropriate actions.

Poshan Tracker

1. Poshan Abhiyaan emphasizes the importance of a data-driven approach to plan and manage delivery of nutrition services.

2. These services are particularly delivered through anganwadi workers (AWWs).

3.  Key challenge is to track and identify the coverage and quality of nutrition interventions in real time.

4. Poshan tracker was launched to monitor and improve interventions to address malnutrition.

5. It aims to provide a holistic view of distribution and access of nutrition services by anganwadi centres and AWWs to eligible groups.

6. The tracker is designed to ensure real-time updates and enhance transparency, enabling the system to identify last-mile beneficiaries who may be left out.

7. Its centralised data architecture enables interfaces with digital technology systems of other ministries.

8. As a result it ensures that households which fall in the critical 1,000-day period receive benefits and services across different social protection programmes.

9. The tracker now carries a module to enable AWWs to identify and provide support to Covid orphaned children.

10. The tracker has replaced the CAS system as the digital backbone of Poshan 2.0.

Others.

1. Community based programs , Jan Andolans, and community-based events were organised to address malnutrition.

2. Strengthening collaboration across departments has provided a holistic implementation of measures to address the issue.

Solutions

Systems approach

1. Improving nutrition calls for a systems approach.

2. This approach cuts across health, food and care systems.

3. It enables data-backed digital tools providing an enabling backbone to scale evidence-based interventions.

Women empowerment 

1. Agriculture-nutrition convergence and strengthening of demand-side behaviour can play a pivotal role in preventing undernutrition.

2. The majority of India’s smallholder plots are tended by women farmers.

3. Investing in their empowerment and in nutrition-sensitive agricultural programmes improve nutrition.

4. It is in this perspective Poshan vatikas(nutrition garden) are setup in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and other states .

5. These gardens  allow families to access locally-produced nutritious foods while increasing their livelihoods and productivity.

Conclusions

1. India has fared well in providing water, sanitation, and financial inclusion measures.

2. The levelers like scientific innovation, traditional knowledge systems, community engagement, digital tools, and data-driven management are being used by Poshan 2.0 to achieve success.

3. The government, development partners, and communities are coming together to provide an integrated push for improved nutrition.

Source : Indian Express

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