Friday, September 18, 2015

Severe Acute Malnutrition | Severe Chronic Malnutrition

SAM is typical of African countries and is a medical emergency where children are not only hungry but are also sick
with high levels of mortality. It is because of drought, civil wars, crop failure etc. Hence both medical care and quality feeding is required.
SCM is typical of India where children are only hungry but not sick therefore it is not a medical emergency. It is because of poor feeding practices, chronic food insecurity, poverty and protracted illness. Thus it is less severe than SAM but is continual form of malnutrition.
Indian children face SCM due to which 30% of under 5 years of age are underweight, 1 in 5 is wasted and 2 in every 5 is stunted. Also Indian children are prone to micronutrient deficiency where 60% pre schoolers suffer from deficiency of vitamin A. These are higher than poorest of African country due which south asian enigma is termed as Indian enigma.
Reasons:
1. Poverty
2. Illiteracy and ignorance about nutrition and government schemes
3. Improper implementation of TPDS
4. Non empowered mothers 
5. Lack of health facilities(doctors, nurses, medicines etc)
6. Denial of reproductive rights to women
7. Early marriage of girls as child born at young age is severely malnourished
8. Lack of sanitation and drinking water facilities which causes gastrointestinal problems due to which nutrients do not get absorbed in body
9. Junk food eaten by children which are low in nutrients causing micronutrient deficiency
10. Poor breastfeeding habits
Tackling malnutrition:
1. To tackle micronutrient deficiency food fortification or bio fortification of good option. These food grains should be distributed via TPDS, MDMS, ICDS etc.
2. Hiring more staff to be placed at PHC, CHC and district hospital
3. Weekly iron and folic acid supplementation, JSSK, NSSK should be effectively implemented to ensure than pregnant women should not give birth to malnourished child and for providing post natal care
4. Expenditure on health should be increased from current 1% to atleast 6% of GDP
5. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, National Nutrition Mission, National rural drinking water Programme be implemented in letter and spirit
6. Education of mothers on nutrition be aggressively pursued with help of ASHAs, ANMs, Anganwadi workers
7. Promoting healthy eating habits in children. Banning selling of junk food around school premises.
8. Countering poverty via providing more days of employment under MGNREGA in drought areas
9. Providing reproductive rights to women and discouraging early marriage.
What India today need is holistic approach then only we can be able to garner fruits of demographic dividend and our
younger generation is able to contribute towards economic growth.

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