Tuesday, 7 June 2011

MALNUTRITION: India: Gujarat needs to focus on better child feeding practices: UNICEF

01/06/2011 : Ahmedabad, May 31 2011

Gujarat needs to focus more on community-based approaches and communication strategies to strengthen feeding practices for infants and young children to prevent malnutrition, said UNICEF India Country representative, Karin Hulshof, today.
Hulshof, who met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi here, discussed about the overall strategies to improve nutrition among children in the state, adding that the scenario of malnutrition as a whole has not "changed much" across India in the last decade.
"In Gujarat too the situation has been the same. It has improved marginally. The chief minister was also concerned with the high number of malnourished children, especially new borns in the state. We spent more time on discussing nutrition during the meeting," she told reporters after meeting Modi here.
"For Gujarat, malnutrition is no longer an issue of either poverty or food security. It has good infrastructure in place, near universalisation of access to schools, anganwadis and water," she said.
It is an opportune time to lay emphasis on the community-based approaches and communication strategies at the household level for infant and young child and to strengthen feeding practises to prevent instances of under-nutrition, Hulshof said.
"Gujarat in now on the threshold of improving the Human Development Index as well as progressing rapidly towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals with equity for all children," she added. .


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