Anganwadi centres to work for “Better Nutrition: Key to Development”

By Abha Manakatala - Tue Sep 01, 10:41 am

Representational Picture Courtesy:2

Representational Picture Courtesy:2

The state launch of the National Nutrition Week organized by the Department of Women & Child Development with UNICEF support in Ranchi at Administrative Training Institute.

The theme for the Nutrition Week is “Better Nutrition: Key to Development”. The Nutrition Week will be observed in all 38,432 anganwadi centres in the state from 1 to 7 September 2013.


Dr. Louis Marandi, Minister, Social Welfare, Women & Child Development said, “We have made progress on the indicators on children in the state. The nutrition week celebrations provides an opportunity to take the messages on mother and child health to the community thereby improving their knowledge and awareness on these issues.”


She added,” The ICDS programme alone cannot address under-nutrition. The issue also needs concerted action of the departments of health, and drinking water & sanitation as well as panchayati raj members, civil society organisations and the media.”


Vinay Choubey, Secretary, Women & Child development said,” Jharkhand has made immense progress in the last 10 years. The focus of the nutrition week would be on the activities panned in the anganwadi centres in the state. In the coming days a Nutrition Mission will be set up and Poshan Sakhis appointed to for a malnutrition-free Jharkhand.”


Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief UNICEF Jharkhand said,”About 45% of the child deaths below 5 years can be attributed to malnutrition according to the medical journal Lancet. Therefore infant mortality rate will reduce if malnutrition rate is brought down.”


She added, “There are 10 globally proven interventions to prevent under-nutrition among children and anemia among women.” These include three breastfeeding practices (initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of life & complementary feeding from the 7th month along with breastfeeding) and reducing anemia among women & adolescent girls by providing them IFA tablets. 

Other interventions to reduce malnutrition are treatment of diarrhea/ pneumonia/ malaria in infants; ensuring routine immunization; use of toilets; hand washing with soap at critical times and care of pregnant women.”


Schedule of the week long Nutrition campaign

Sept  1 Wajan Pakhwara and survey of beneficiary group
Sept  2 Godh Bharai programme in all anganwadi centre
Sept 3 Annparashan for children at 6 months of age
Sept 4 Discussion on health & nutrition of adolescent girls at anganwadi centre (need for nutritious food, iron tablet & deworming)
Sept 5 Community level discussion on importance of micro nutrients for a balanced diet & handwashing day with focus on handwashing, cleanliness and sanitation
Sept 7 Discussion on importance of health, nutrition and sanitation with PRI members, Mahila Mandal & anganwadi sahiyog committee


Nutrition status in Jharkhand

According to NFHS 3 (2005-06), in Jharkhand, about half (47.2%) of the children under 3 years are stunted, or too short for their age, which indicates that they have been undernourished for some time. One-third (35.8%) children are wasted, or too thin for their height, which may result from inadequate recent food intake or a recent illness. About 54.6% are underweight, which takes into account both chronic and acute under-nutrition. More than 70% of women of 15-49 years and about 67% of adolescent girls of 15 – 19 years are anemic in the state as per NFHS 3.


Under-nutrition leads to diseases and death of children. Poor nutritional status has its implications on cognitive development, years of schooling and productivity. Stunted mothers are more likely to have underweight children or children with low weight at birth (less than 2.5 kilogram); thus the cycle of poverty and malnutrition is repeated. The adverse effects of under nutrition among children are irreversible (Lancet, 2003).


Status in Jharkhand and India

Indicators Jharkhand India Source
Children under 3 years who are underweight in (%) 54.6 40.4 NFHS 3, 2005-06
Children under 3 years who are stunted (%) 47.2 44.9 NFHS 3, 2005-06
Children under 3 years who are wasted (%) 35.8 22.9 NFHS 3, 2005-06
Children 6-35 months who are anemic (%) 78.2 79.1 NFHS 3, 2005-06
Ever-married women age 15-49 who are anemic (%) 70.6 56.1 NFHS 3, 2005-06
Prevalence of anemia among adolescent girls of 15-19 years (%) 67.2 55.8 NFHS 3, 2005-06
Children breastfed within one hour of birth (%) 43.3 AHS, 2012-13
Children aged 0-6 months exclusively breastfed (%) 50.2 AHS, 2012-13


  1. The programme was attended by Ravindra Prashad Singh, Director, Social Welfare; Sanjay Kumar, Additional Director, Social Welfare; Moira Dawa, Communication Officer, UNICEF; anganwadi wokers; and NGO partners.

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