Increase in the number of children in the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre, in Bangalore city, despite higher spending on the schemes.
Karnataka is the fourth with the most number of children with malnutrition in India, according to the center for policy reports. Admissions in the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) have increased by 23%. In 2017-18 there were only 498 admissions whereas in 2018-19 there are 648 admissions in the NRC. This is in spite of the 1.5 % increase in public spending for nutrition schemes.
National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) reports say there is also an increase in the number of wasted (low weight-for-height) kids in the Karnataka. The gain in stunting (a low height-for-age) and underweight, child malnutrition is still a major problem in Karnataka.
Sumaya, whose daughter is admitted in the hospital because of malnutrition says, “I used to give only idli to my daughter because I didn’t know about the proper food that I should provide her at the age of 3”.
The number of cases of malnutrition in urban Bangalore has decreased by 2.6%, accordingly to the Health and Family welfare service.
Dayananda K. A., Director of Women and child welfare says, “0 hunger cannot be done from one department. Our entire constitution is working on it. It will soon hunger Free State”
Doctor Hajira, Nutritionist in Indra Gandhi Child Health Hospital and IYVF says, “We see more admissions from North Karnataka side. Malnutrition happens because of less awareness of the family.”, She also added malnutrition begins at home, most probably when the child is breastfed for a long time with no complementary feeding at all. There have been cases where iron has been low as 4.2 grams for a child of four years old because he was only breastfed.
In a positive move, the government of India along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCF) came up with the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) program, to make mothers aware about the correct feeding. Every Primary Health Care (PHC), district hospitals and taluk hospital will have IYCF counsellors, who will counsel the mothers regarding the food.