Nagaland’s malnutrition worse than the country average

Malnutrition in India’s northeastern states is worse than the national average, writes Shoba Suri for ABP Live.


According to Suri, stunting among children under the age of five has increased in four Northeastern states: Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. Meghalaya has the highest rate of stunting at 46.8%, followed by Nagaland (32.7%), Tripura (32.3%), and Mizoram (28.9%). The proportion of children that are stunted, wasting, underweight, or overweight has increased in Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.


According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), every state in the Northeast showed a rise in the number of overweight people, contributing to the states’ growing double burden of malnutrition.


Stunting among children in the Northeast is caused by a variety of factors, according to Suri, including poor maternal health, a lack of antenatal care, inadequate infrastructure and healthcare facilities, inadequate feeding and nutrition for women, and limited access to education, clean drinking water, and sanitary facilities.


He also notes a 2015 study on indigenous peoples in the Northeast, which found that a lack of toilets, drinking water, and cooking fuel in the home has an impact on child malnutrition.


Suri says that the utilization of supplementary food in anganwadi centres varies substantially across the northeastern states, ranging from roughly 35% in Arunachal Pradesh to 70% in Tripura.


At 20.7%, Nagaland had the lowest Antenatal Care (ANC) coverage in the North East. In terms of iron and folic acid (IFA) intake, Nagaland had the lowest rate in the North East states, at 4.1%, which was lower than the national average.


As a result, Suri believes that malnutrition in the Northeast must be tackled holistically by scaling up direct nutrition interventions and pairing them with nutrition-sensitive policies to close the nutrition gap.


Suri feels that improving the monitoring and evaluation of present initiatives by building on the POSHAN Abhiyaan and health programs will be useful in the long run.


Mokokchung Times

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