Mangaluru: Malnutrition plaguing the children throughout the country still persists as a major challenge for the government and children. Amidst the fear that the malnutrition among the children is rising because of poverty and lack of vitamin rich food consumption, it is safe to say that the intensity of malnutrition within DK district is within control presently. In comparison to other districts, the intensity of malnutrition in DK district is very low. Presently there are 2,797 children within the age of 0-5, who are suffering from malnutrition while around 55 children are suffering from severe malnutrition. Although there is a rise and fall in the number of children suffering from malnutrition in the district in the span of 8 months, it has not caused much fear. In Jan, 3,261 children were suffering from malnutrition, in Feb the number was 3,233, in March 3,147, April 3,062, May 2,832, June 2,652, July 2,800 and in August it was 2,797 children suffering from malnutrition. Every month, children between the age of 0-5 are weighed at the anganwadi. During this time, children who were suffering from malnutrition last month may have achieved the required amount of weight or else, a few new children may join in. Due to this fact, the calculations regarding malnutrition every month show signs of rise and fall, say the officials of the women and child development. Malnutrition can be controlled only through the consumption of vitamin-rich food. 55 children suffering from acute malnutrition Currently, there are 55 children in the district who are suffering from acute malnutrition and the problems faced by them include low weight, anemia, heart problems, mental-retardation, extreme BMI balance and other issues. If the number of children suffering from severe malnutrition was 51 in the month of January, in Feb it was 54, in March it rose to 55. Later in the months of April and May it dropped to 48 and 49 respectively, but in the month of June, it rose again to 55, followed by 58 in July and 55 in August. Such children are provided with nutrients rich food through anganwadi. Normally, the malnutrition amongst the children within the age of 5 is calculated based on their age. The weight of a 1 year old child should be above 7 kg and in case if the weight is below 6 kg and 900 grams, then the child is considered to be suffering from malnutrition. Similarly, children weighing below 8 kg and 400 gm at the age of 2, less than 10 kg at the age of 3, less than 11 kg 200 gm at the age of 4 and less than 12 kg and 300 gm at the age of 5 are also considered to be suffering from malnutrition. Children whose weight does not compliment their height are also considered to be suffering from malnutrition, inform child development officials. Reason for the rise in malnutrition Among the many reason the cause malnutrition, poverty and the failure of the mother to consume vitamin rich food can lead to the child’s malnutrition. In order to put an end to this, the government is providing vitamin rich food through its anganwadis. The mother and child’d body gain vitamin through the consumption of leafy vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, eggs, fish, milk, curds and other items. Attempt for complete control Presently, there are 55 children in DK district suffering from malnutrition. In comparison to the districts, this is extremely low. We attempting for its complete control. Throughout the year, malnutrition may occur due to other reasons as well – Sundar Poojary, Deputy Director, Department of Woman and Child Development, DK
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