Friday 28 November 2014

Malnourishment in India

According to World Bank estimates, India ranks very high among the countries having malnourished children.

A UNICEF report states that one third of the world's malnourished children live in India. Malnutrition is more common in India than in sub-Saharan Africa. 45% Indian children are underweight due to malnutrition. Many of these are severely malnourished. 50% childhood deaths are due to malnutrition. A Global Hunger Index ( GHI ) Report, 2011 ranks India high among the countries having a hunger situation.

Malnutrition in childhood has serious, long term consequences, because it impedes motor, sensory, cognitive and social and emotional development of a child. Malnourished children are less likely to perform well in school, are at greater risk of disease, and are more likely to die an early death.

The UNICEF Report also says that anaemia affects 74% Indian children under the age of 3 years, and more than 90% adolescent girls and 50% women. Iodine deficiency, which reduces learning ability, is widespread in India, because fewer than half the Indian households use iodized salt. Vitamin A deficiency, which causes blindness, and increases morbidity and mortality among small children, is also common in India.

I am not going into the other issues of unemployment, healthcare, price rise, housing, etc, facing the nation, and have limited myself to the problem of malnutrition

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair ( Charles Dickens : A Tale of Two Cities ).

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