The UNICEF has collaborated with the Indian government to lead the primary first-ever national survey to measure nutrition levels of children (age 0-19 years) in the country. According to the survey, information is being gathered to measure insufficiencies of micronutrients, vitamin, and mineral and worm invasion among youngsters. As per the UNICEF, the discoveries of the practice will begin streaming in ahead of schedule one year from now.
A sum of 1,20,000 youngsters in the age gathering of 0-19 years is being reviewed the nation over through orderly irregular inspecting as a major aspect of the workout. The study has been finished in seven states and will be deduced in another five states before the current year’s over, it said.
All the states of the country are expected to be covered before the end of 2017.
UNICEF’s Nutrition Specialist Jee Hyun Rah has explained how the absence of information prompts to crevices in government approaches which can be tended to through this far-reaching ‘National Nutrition Survey’. “In terms of nutritional aspect, there is only one intervention to fight anemia is by providing folic acid and iron supplements from the Government of India.
UNICEF said over-nutrition ( the risk factor for obesity and diabetes)are also being calculated through body composition and fat distribution as part of the study. Importantly, an association between lack of nourishment and its impact on school readiness, cognitive development, and educational outcomes will also be determined, it said.
“But anemia is caused not merely because of iron deficiency, but also due to a whole bunch of nutritional deficiencies like Vitamin A, folic acid, zinc and even protein deficiency. Apart from this, there is a whole spectrum of infection as well as worm infestation,” Rah said. “The reason why there is no intervention for these multiple deficiencies is that we do not know where the population stands in terms of mineral and vitamin requirements,” the officials of UNICEF said.
A board involving national specialists and chaired by the Health Ministry will choose the specific indicators to be included in the fact sheet as well as the cut-offs to be used to define deficiency. “We will have state-specific data sets. We will need to coordinate with respective state governments to devise suitable response as well as guidelines for intervention.
“Also, nutrition is linked to health, sanitation, cultural practices, social norms and all these need to be taken into account,” said by Henriette Ahrens, Deputy Representative-Programme, UNICEF.
The survey has been funded by Aditya Mittal, Group CFO, and CEO Europe Arcelor Mittal, along with his wife Megha Mittal. They have contributed almost USD 10 million for the activity.