The estimated number of underweight, malnourished and severely malnourished children under 5 years of age is obtained under National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. As per the recent report of NFHS-5 (2019-21), the nutrition indicators for children under 5 years have improved as compared with NFHS-4 (2015-16). Stunting has reduced from 38.4% to 35.5%, while Wasting has reduced from 21.0% to 19.3%. Underweight prevalence has reduced from 35.8% to 32.1%.
In order to address challenges of malnutrition, Government has taken steps to improve nutritional quality and testing, strengthen delivery and leverage technology under Poshan Tracker to improve governance. Streamlined Guidelines were issued on Quality Assurance, Roles and Responsibilities of Duty Holders, procedure for procurement, integrating AYUSH concepts and Data Management and Monitoring for transparency, efficiency and accountability in delivery of Supplementary Nutrition on 13.01.2021. Government has advised States/UTs to launch a drive for identification of SAM children for referral to hospitals (if required) and AYUSH centres in accordance with the detailed action plan approved by the District Nutrition Committee to be finalized in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer.
Further, Mission Poshan 2.0, an integrated nutrition support programme has been announced in budget 2021-2022 for all States/UTs. It seeks to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes with focus on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity.
This information was given by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.