National nutrition mission overview : The National Nutrition Mission (NNM), also known as Rashtriya Poshan Mission has been launched by the government of India with three year budget of 9046.17 crore rupees. National nutrition mission or poshan abhiyan divied to curb the problem of malnutrition. The scheme was commenced from 2017-18. National Nutrition Mission as an apex body under Ministry of Women and Child Development will supervise, monitor, fix targets and guide nutrition related interventions all over the Ministries. It will also monitor an assortment of schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition in India.
Malnutrition as characterized by under-nutrition, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies has a negative impact on the socio-economic development of any nation. Malnutrition erodes (demolish) social and economic gains made and put countries in a vicious cycle of poor nutritional status, high disease burden and increased poverty. Malnutrition has a significant inter-generational effect and must be addressed in its entirety for any meaningful development to take place. It causes low work productivity, absenteeism (non appearance) from work and school due to illnesses and poor intellectual performance among school children. Malnutrition contributes to about 60 percent of childhood mortality in the world.
Therefore, to achieve the nutrition-related Goals, it is imperative (mandatory) to put in place, mechanisms for sustained funding for nutrition programmes.
Thus government has launched National Nutrition Mission.
Objective National nutrition mission:
The programme through the targets will strive to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies. It will create synergy, ensure better monitoring, issue alerts for timely action, and encourage States/UTs to perform, guide and supervise the line Ministries and States/UTs to achieve the targeted goals.
Salient features of the Mission are:
- The mission, commencing 2017-18, has a target to reduce under-nutrition and low birth-weight by 2 per cent each year.
- It will strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4 per cent as per the National Family Health Survey-4 to 25 per cent by 2022.
- It also aims to bring down anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls by three per cent per year.
- Under NNM(national nutrition mission), the ministries of women and child development, health and family welfare, and water and sanitation will work together.
- The mission will form an apex body that would fix targets and monitor, supervise and guide nutrition-related interventions across the ministries.
- The mission would include several components like an ICT (information and communications technology)-based real-time monitoring system, incentivizing of states and Union territories to meet their targets, social audits, and setting up of nutrition resource centres.
- Anganwadi workers will also be offered incentives (encouragement) for using IT-based tools such as smart phones.
- Aadhaar card is a mandatory requirement to avail the benefits of the mission,
Implementation strategy would be based on intense (acute) monitoring and Convergence Action Plan right upto the grass root level. NNM (national nutrition mission0 will be rolled out in three phases from 2017-18 to 2019-20. NNM targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively. Although the target to reduce Stunting is atleast 2% p.a., Mission would strive to achieve reduction in Stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022 (Mission 25 by 2022).
India stands 100th position in the World Hunger Index behind North Korea and Bangladesh. There are several schemes in India directly/indirectly affecting the nutrition of Indians children and Women. Still 44% of Indian children below 5 yrs suffer from malnutrition, around 70% of women have anaemia. Other problem like stunted growth and under wieght children also affects India’s demography.
NNM is an apex body which guided, intervenes and sets incentives for achieving the nutritional related targets of nation. Government has released more than 9000 crores to help implement this scheme which has following properties:
1. Using ICT in monitoring growth of children and women in angadwadi centres.
2. Incentivising Angadwadi centres for using IT technology for better monitoring. ELiminating register use.
3. Facilitating height and weight measurement of all included in the scheme.
4. Setting up nutritional resource centres across states and encouraging wide participation of people via Jan Andolan.
5. Converging all other nutrition scheme in the country to achieve goal of “zero hunger”
There are more than 10 crore people coming under this scheme. India’s Demography is its major advantage over other developing nations. India cannot capitalise its fast growth years when the population is suffering from undernutrition leading to lack of mental and physical capabilities of human capital. There are few steps that can be taken:
1. Encouraging farmers to shift fro staple food to nutritional crops.
2. Providing more budget for Animal husbandry than crop husbandry in Agriculture Extension services.
3. Both above steps will increase the diversity in supply from staple food to horticulture crops and more dairy products which will improve nutrition.
Challenges in National Nutrition Mission
India grapples with a malnutrition crisis despite having more than 30 government programmes and schemes for maternal and child health, and nutrition.
- National Nutrition Mission (NNM) aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, and anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls, besides reducing low birth weight. More than 100 million people are expected to benefit from NNM,
- NNM is backed by a National Nutrition Strategy prepared by the NITI Aayog with the goal of attaining “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat” or malnutrition-free India, by 2022.
- The policy aims to map various schemes that address malnutrition and set up a robust convergence mechanism, and an information and communications technology-based real-time monitoring system, besides incentivising states and Union territories to meet the targets.
- It will also incentivise Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT-based tools, social audits and setting up of nutrition resource centres involving the masses.
- The intent of the policy is clear, but the implementation could be a challenge.
Malnutrition is a complex and multi-dimensional issue:
- It is primarily caused by several factors, including poverty, inadequate food consumption, inequitable food distribution, improper maternal, infant and child feeding, and care practices, inequity and gender imbalances, poor sanitary and environmental conditions, and restricted access to quality health, education and social care services.
- Various ministries and departments related to healthcare often operate in isolation.
The scheme also suffers from under-utilisation of allocated funds (only 16% of allocated resources for 2018-19), just like many other government programmes.
Lack of real-time data monitoring, sustainability and accountability may impact the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), Thus there is a need to strengthen monitoring and delivery systems.
Ministry of Women and Child Development organized the second meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched by the government on March 8, 2018.
- The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
- The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to ensure service delivery and interventions by use of technology, behavioural change through convergence and lays-down specific targets to be achieved across different monitoring parameters.
- Under the Abhiyaan, Swasth Bharat Preraks will be deployed one in each district for coordinating with district officials and enabling fast and efficient execution of the Abhiyaan across the country. Swasth Bharat Preraks would function as catalyst for fast tracking the implementation of the Abhiyaan.
The National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges
- Set up under the Poshan Abhiyaan, the Council is also known as National Council on Nutrition (NCN).
- The NCN is headed by the Vice-Chairman of the NITI Aayog.
- It provides policy directions to address nutritional challenges in the country and review programmes.
- It is a national level coordination and convergence body on nutrition.
- $200 million loan from World Bank will be used for implementing the National Nutrition Mission.
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