Thursday, October 08, 2015
For every country, ensuring optimum maternal and child health could be a great challenge. In a serious effort to address various issues and to reach out to every mother and child, the West Bengal Department of Child Development and Social Welfare along with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched the '1000 Days' campaign.
The campaign will span out for a year and percolate to every block in the state. Funded by the centre and the state with a budget of Rs 1,474 crore, the campaign will harness support from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), institutions and community mobilisers to reach out to young mothers.
"The 1000 days between a woman's pregnancy and her child's second birthday offer an unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous future. The right nutrition and care during this period can have a profound impact on a child's ability to grow, learn and rise out of poverty," said Shashi Panja , the state Women and Child Welfare minister.
The launch of the campaign coincided with the 40th year anniversary of Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS). Started in 1975, ICDS offers nutritional support to children and seems to be growing strong with 1,16,000 ICDS centres in West Bengal. These targeted efforts seem to be bearing fruit as the prevalence of malnutrition in West Bengal has dropped from more than 32% to a current 19.84%. Sustained efforts are the need of the hour to help prevent any maternal and child health issues.
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