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Mothers and child care government workers have poor knowledge about children’s nutritional needs: UNICEF survey

Posted:  Monday, June 08, 2015

The United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF’s recent survey disclosed a shocking revelation of how drivers of child care, namely mothers, social workers of the Indian nursing council, Ashas and Anganwadis from a North Indian city were ignorant about children’s nutritional needs.

This survey was conducted in Pilibhit, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. According to UNICEF officials, the social workers were unaware about the 4 pillars of child health. These pillars are:

- Consumption of optimum levels of vitamin A to boost immunity in children

- Routine vaccination against 7 diseases, namely diphtheria, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough and hepatitis B. Notably, breast-feeding infants is an integral part of this component.

- Identification of malnutrition in children aged 9 months to 6 years and application of appropriate nutritional therapy

- And finally, promotion of consumption of iodised salt.

This report is a matter of great concern since an earlier 2012-13 survey found that only 31% nursing women breastfed their children from birth to six months of age.

So what is the next plan of action for UNICEF? Discussions are underway with the centre to conduct activities and awareness programs under the central government's 'Bal Swasthya Poshan Yojna'. Thus, with education and awareness, caregivers are expected to adopt healthy practices to ensure good child health.

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