MoS WCD Participates in Webinar on "Importance of Nutrition in first 1000 Days, Early Childhood Care & Development and Prevention & Management of Malnutrition”

The Minister of State for Women and Child Development Dr. Mahendrabhai Munjpara today delivered the key note address in a webinar on “Importance of nutrition in first 1000 Days, Early Childhood Care & Development and Prevention & Management of Malnutrition”. The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Smt. Bharati Pravin Pawar also delivered the key note address. The webinar was conducted by Ministry of WCD in collaboration with Ministry of Health and family welfare as part of the POSHAN Maah celebrations under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

The webinar saw participation of an expert panel of speakers to discuss and deliberate on the various means and methods to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition through a focus on the first 1000 days and how continuous collaborative action can help achieve these objectives. The panelists included Dr. Arun K. Singh, Dept. of Neonatology, AIIMS Jodhpur, Prof, Anura Kurpad, Dept. of Physiology, St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru and Prof. H P S Sachdev, Sitaram Institute of Science and Research apart from senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Family welfare.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Munjpara said POSHAN Maah is central to the POSHAN Abhiyaan, which has been running since 2018 with the objective of creating a Suposhit Bharat. It is a month for celebrating and promoting good nutrition practices and outcomes across the country. Through the POSHAN Maah we bring together communities and government bodies across India for collaborative action. He thanked the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare towards their dedicated efforts on working collaboratively to meet this common goal.

Dr. Mujpara stated that the base of well-nourished body is built during the first 1000 days of life from conception to when a child is 2 years old. Bearing this in mind, the Ministry is focusing its efforts on pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescents and child below the age of 6 years in particular. He said the focus is on well-nourished and anemia free adolescent girls for healthy mothers of the future; Optimum nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy for healthy babies; Good nutrition during lactation to support the continued growth of children; Introduction of adequate complementary feeding practices are the best strategies for preventing malnutrition.

The Minister said that the ministry is working through nearly 14 lakh Anganwadis and wider national campaigns to raise awareness about healthy diets, healthy care during pregnancies and optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices to break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition. Apart from good nutrition, Anganwadi workers are also providing Early Childhood Care and Education from the ages of 3 to 6 years in innovative activities to support their cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development. 

Dr. Munjpara said that strong efforts are being made to not only raise awareness about healthy diets, but also provide access to diverse, nutritious, affordable and agro-climatically suitable diets by setting up Poshan Vatikas. He said AYUSH practices are being placed central stage to further promote good health, well-being and immunity across ages. He added that the nation-wide Supplementary Nutrition Programme is also being enhanced by providing fortified rice with iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. Furthermore, millets are also being emphasised within the Supplementary Nutrition Programme.

In conclusion, the Minister said that our goal of creating a Kuposhan Mukt Bharat is ambitious and we cannot go it alone. Communities across the nation need to come together in a citizen’s movement or a Jan Andolan. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is privileged to work with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other ministries towards making India malnutrition free. He said that it is extremely encouraging to see functionaries across ministries and department’s right from central government to state, district and village levels collaborating to raise awareness about good nutrition and childcare practices.

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    Source PIB