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115 Million Children Risk Malnutrition Due To COVID-19 Pandemic: India Child Well-being Report

According to India Child Well-being Report 2020, released by World Vision India, many children in the country are no longer having three meals a day and many are missing school mid-day meals

115 Million Children Risk Malnutrition Due To COVID-19 Pandemic: India Child Well-being Report
Highlights
  • Pandemic has caused a decline in household incomes: Report
  • Over 1.5 million schools have been closed due to the pandemic: UNICEF
  • Children are unable to get take-home ration from schools: Expert

New Delhi: The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have intensified the burden of malnutrition among children in the country, especially from the vulnerable and economically poor families, finds India Child Well-being Report 2020, released on Tuesday (November 24) by World Vision India, a non-governmental organisation that works towards helping the underprivileged children. According to the report, COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has put almost 115 million children at the risk of malnutrition.

Also Read: India Is Home To The World’s Most Wasted Children, As Per The Global Hunger Index 2020

The report highlights that due to the pandemic, decline in household incomes, changes in the availability and affordability of nutritious foods and interruptions to health, nutrition and social protection services increased. Because of this, many children in the country are no longer having three meals a day and many are missing school mid-day meal. The report further says that an increase in malnutrition can decrease the economic growth of a nation by approximately 8 per cent due to loss in productivity caused by reduced schooling and cognitive impairments. While talking about the report, Madhav Bellamkonda, National Director and CEO, World Vision India said,

The delivery of health and nutrition services have been impacted badly since the pandemic hit the nation. The report is clearly calling for more investments in the early childhood development and child protection.

The report which captures data on health, bodily integrity, protection and emotional well-being of children from 640 districts across 28 states and 9 Union Territories highlighted that the districts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are among the better performing states in terms of child well-being. The districts of Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, scored low.

The report also highlighted that when it comes to access to health facilities, districts in the states of Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Puducherry, are top-performing states. However, districts from Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland are the worst-performing states in terms of access to health facilities for a child.

Also Read: Maharashtra’s Palghar Is Fighting A Dual Battle – Malnutrition and COVID-19: An On-Ground Report

Districts of Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar, according to the report, are performing poorly on indicators such as sex ratio, which is the ratio of males to females in a population, among children less than six years of age, birth weight, infant mortality and under-five mortality rate.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Arjan De Wagt, Deputy Representative- Programmes, UNICEF said,

It is a very important report because we need data to speak to the people. The report clearly shows that when it comes to child well-being in India, the time to act has come and we cannot ignore this anymore. COVID-19 is affecting the vulnerable children to an imaginable level. The data we have right now from the ground is still very limited. Over 1.5 million schools have been closed for over 10 months now. But when these schools will open, many of the children may not even go back to school because poverty is increasing due to the pandemic. The children are unable to get the take-home ration from many schools and Anganwadi centres. To improve the well-being of children in the country, the water and sanitation services also need to reach every child.

Basanta Kumar Kar, Recipient of the Global Nutrition Leadership Award, said that while children are not the face of the pandemic, they are certainly the victims of it. He added that while the report gives us a look at important aspects of children’s well-being in the country, it would have been even more fruitful to have included the national or state governments in this effort for greater ownership and legitimacy. He said,

Apart from highlighting the ground reality, which is extremely important, there is a need to sensitise the policymakers for desired actions.

Also Read: How Has COVID-19 Impacted The Nutritional Status Of India’s Children? An On-Ground Report From Non-Profit Organisation CRY

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

23,96,06,768Cases
20,13,42,617Active
3,33,82,100Recovered
48,82,051Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,96,06,768 and 48,82,051 have died; 20,13,42,617 are active cases and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 4:15 am.

India

3,40,37,592 16,862Cases
2,03,6782,908Active
3,33,82,100 19,391Recovered
4,51,814 379Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,37,592 confirmed cases including 4,51,814 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,03,678 and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,86,280 2,384

33,157 6

64,13,418 2,343

1,39,705 35

Kerala

48,29,944 9,246

96,421 1,802

47,06,856 10,952

26,667 96

Karnataka

29,82,399 310

9,607 43

29,34,870 347

37,922 6

Tamil Nadu

26,83,396 1,259

15,451 199

26,32,092 1,438

35,853 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,122 540

6,588 27

20,38,248 557

14,286 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,008 12

135 4

16,86,976 16

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,012 530

7,576 81

15,52,491 601

18,945 10

Delhi

14,39,311 28

337 1

14,13,885 29

25,089

Odisha

10,33,809 521

4,890 38

10,20,645 477

8,274 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,614 16

203 4

9,91,841 20

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,382 8

42 6

9,45,386 2

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,244 34

215 20

8,15,943 14

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,669 12

111 1

7,82,035 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,035 16

105 158

7,60,881

10,049 174

Bihar

7,26,016 8

42 6

7,16,313 2

9,661

Telangana

6,68,618 168

4,171 40

6,60,512 207

3,935 1

Assam

6,05,847 207

3,646 157

5,96,263 362

5,938 2

Punjab

6,01,971 33

234 11

5,85,199 16

16,538 6

Jharkhand

3,48,406 11

130 4

3,43,141 7

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,729 28

175 22

3,36,157 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,834 93

935 11

3,25,473 104

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,113 182

1,387 5

2,16,011 173

3,715 4

Goa

1,77,356 68

679 27

1,73,342 39

3,335 2

Puducherry

1,27,259 49

647 4

1,24,763 53

1,849

Manipur

1,22,432 69

1,444 15

1,19,099 84

1,889

Mizoram

1,10,719 901

13,601 435

96,744 1,332

374 4

Tripura

84,295 4

110 8

83,369 12

816

Meghalaya

82,734 87

892 31

80,411 115

1,431 3

Chandigarh

65,295 10

32 5

64,443 15

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,958 4

202 22

54,476 26

280

Sikkim

31,722 6

224 1

31,108 7

390

Nagaland

31,516 9

230 8

30,613 17

673

Ladakh

20,867 6

44 2

20,615 4

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 1

10,668 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

2 0

10,312

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,640 3

10 1

7,501 2

129

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