National Nutrition Month observed across India to fight malnutrition

The National Nutrition Month is being celebrated across the country in September to mark the fight against malnutrition. During this month, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development will organize various programmes to spread broad awareness on issues related to malnutrition like stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight in children.

The month will focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers to eliminate the deficiencies prevailing in the Health sector.

The WCD ministry is trying to reach about 11 crore women and children during this month through various grass-root activities with the convergence of different ministries.

The month of September will be celebrated as National Nutrition Month every year. The decision to this effect was taken during the second meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under the Poshan Abhiyaan held in July 2018.

About National Nutrition Mission (NMM):

The National Nutrition Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8, 2018, in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38 percent to 25 percent by 2022.

The NNM is a comprehensive approach towards raising nutrition level in the country on a war footing. It will comprise the mapping of various schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition, incentivizing states/UTs for meeting the targets, incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT-based tools, eliminating registers used by AWWs and introducing measurement of the height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).

It will also comprise social audits, setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres and involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation in nutrition through various activities, among others.

The mission has been set up with a three year budget of Rs 9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.

Under the mission, the WCD Ministry is working on eight focused themes, which include optimal breastfeeding, growth monitoring, hygiene and sanitation, food fortification and girls’ education, diet, and marriage at the right age.

The mission aims to achieve improvement in the nutritional status of children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.

It targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce low birth weight by at least 2 percent per annum.

Though the target to reduce stunting is at least 2 percent per annum, the mission would strive to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022.

More than 10 crore people are expected to be benefitted by the NMM programme. It would cover all the states and districts in a phased manner. While 315 districts will be covered in 2017-18 and 235 districts in 2018-19, the remaining districts will be covered in 2019-20.

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