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Good news for Maharashtra, malnutrition is down

Nov 05 2012, 17:51 IST
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Malnutrition. (Agencies) Malnutrition. (Agencies)
SummaryMalnutrition in children under the age of two has decreased 16 per cent.

'Comprehensive nutrition survey in Maharashtra' (CNSM), conducted by Indian Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) and UNICEF, has said malnutrition is declining in the state.

The report, released by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan here today, says that stunting (not growing enough for age) in the children under the age of two has decreased 16 per cent, compared with 2005-2006.

The 2005 'National Family Health Survey' had found that 39 per cent of the children in the state were too short. As per the IIPS-UNICEF survey, the percentage is now 22.8.

The percentage of 'wasting' (too thin for height) children has come down from 19.9 to 15.5. The percentage of underweight (too thin for age) kids has come down from 29.6

per cent to 21.8 per cent.

The infant mortality rate has decreased from 28 per cent to 25 per cent.

Chavan said Maharashtra was the first state in the country to commission such independent survey.

The survey attributes the improvement to good infant and young child feeding practises and nutrition care for women.

"The numbers are encouraging and satisfactory. We need to work more to eliminate malnutrition completely," Chavan said.

The Chief Minister however expressed concern about the finding that only 61.8 per cent of the women who had institutional delivery started breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

"This means 30 per cent of the mothers who have benefited from institutionalised delivery have not breastfed their infants," he said, adding, branded milk might have become a preference at private hospitals.

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