Malnutrition - Policy actions from Right to Food Campaign, Madhya Pradesh Support Group
We are enclosing a piece on Malnutrition and State Government's response written by NK Singh (Editor, Hindustan Times, Madhya Pradesh). The purpose of mentioning this fact is to show that still some Editors also write on issues like Malnutrition.
from - Right to Food Campaign Madhya Pradesh Support Group
Beyond the news MP Govt faces moment of truth N.K. Singh
What is the real picture?
According to Madhya Pradesh Government's own figures, about 39.69 lakh children suffer from malnutrition in the State. Of course malnourished children, about 48,000 fall in "sever" category – called class three and four in government vocabulary.
And what does Government's own record show?
In the last two years it treated 9394 severely malnourished kids. In effect, the Government could provide treatment to only 10 percent of those who needed it. At this rate it will take them ten years to provide treatment to the affected kids.
Will the seriously affected children survived by that time?
That is what we write in Hindustan Times of September 17, 2008. The Madhya Pradesh Givernment , predictably protested. It said it was doing its best for the impoverished. And of course there were no malnutrition deaths. This was a figment of the media's and the NGO imagination.
We are glade that the State Government is now prepared to face the truth. It is ready to accept that the problem is so overwhelming that ordinary measures can not help. The Government has realized that the 150 and odd nutritional rehabilitation centers run by it are not enough to take care of 48,000 severly malnourished children, who face death.
If anyone doubts this statement, let us remind him or her, once again, of what the experts have to say on this subject:
"The mortality rates (among children with severely acute malnutrition) reflect a 5-20 times higher risk of death compared to well – nourished children. Severe acute malnutrition can be a direct cause of death, or it can act as an indirect cause by dramatically increasing the case fatality rate in children suffering from such common childhood illness as diarrhoea and pneumonia" (A joint statement by World Health Organisation, the World Food Programme, The United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition and the United Nations Children Fund.)
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