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Govt eager to offer micronutrient mix to control child malnutrition

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New Delhi | Sunday, Jan 14 2018 IST
The Government is mulling introduction in its flagship programmes of a multiple micronutrient intervention to tackle India's chronic malnutrition problem among children.The Government is interested in opting for the micronutrient mix, a product of the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition, being run by the Indian Council of Medical Research.The product has been tested on 400 children in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare has recommended testing the efficacy of this multi-nutrition intervention with multiple micronutrients in different regions of the country.The Committee hopes that the micronutrient intervention will decisively rid malnutrition among children, a major problem plaguing the country. According to World Bank estimates, India has a large number of children suffering from malnutrition. The country was ranked 20th on the 2015 Global Hunger Index among leading countries with a serious hunger problem. However, the National Family Health Survey (NHFS) and state government's School Health Programme (SHP) point to a rising trend of anaemic and malnourished children. The number of anaemic children was put at 6.06-lakh for 2015-16.During initial research, scientists found that anaemia among pre-school children dropped from 48 per cent to 10 per cent. There was an impact of micronutrient on cognitive activities too, the study found.The micronutrient mix tested by the Institute has seven micronutrients including two minerals and five vitamins comprising Vitamin A, B12, folic acid, Vitamin C.While the panel was appreciative of the product, it favoured that more multi-site research was required to evaluate its potential benefits and recommended that the department conceptualise and implement the multi site research within a time frame.But noting the silence of the department on the issue, the Committee asked that the inter-ministerial coordination on combating anemia update it on this matter.UNI SD SV SNU 1129

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0005-1208316.Xml

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