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Maharashtra State Government to draft policies on complementary feeding on priority

Posted:  Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The period from the womb to 2 years of a child’s life is termed as the 1000 day window of opportunity. Barring 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, the infant is completely at the mercy of the family to be fed to develop well. Recognising the importance of this window, the Maharashtra State Govt in association with the Union health ministry is set to draft improvements in policies for complementary feeding of children.

These efforts are undertaken to achieve World Health Assembly’s goal to reduce stunted growth by 40 per cent in children aged less than five years by 2025. This initiative is a joint effort of 4 departments namely women and child development, public health, tribal development, and Jijamata Mother and Child Nutrition Mission. These 4 organisations will come together to provide nutritional support to pregnant women and infants.

Among the efforts, the government plans to improve ‘Take home rations’ in a bid to reduce malnutrition and correctly categorise severely undernourished children from moderately undernourished. Data shows that free complementary nutrition improved the health of many children admitted to Village Child Development Camp (VCTC).

A similar scene was repeated at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NHRs), wherein nutritional intervention resulted in improved in the condition of 2,102 severely undernourished children.

“After the discussions in the meet, we will make improvements in the complementary feeding programmes in Maharashtra. There is a need to inculcate iron and nutrients in daily diet, which is not sufficient in rural mothers,” said the experts in conclusion.

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