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Kerala Government Launches Nutrition Bar To Eliminate Underweight Malnutrition Among Children In the State

In a bid to tackle malnutrition among children, the Department of Women and Child Development and the Kerala Agricultural University have jointly produced a nutrition bar that is rich in iron and calcium

Kerala Government Launches Nutrition Bar To Eliminate Underweight Malnutrition Among Children In the State
Highlights
  • The nutrition bar is meant for children between the ages of three and six
  • Kerala has about 5,500 severely underweight children: Official
  • Each malnourished child will be given one nutrition bar per day

New Delhi: To fight malnutrition among children in the state, the government of Kerala has launched a nutrition bar that is rich in iron, calcium and protein. Named ‘Thenamruth’, the nutrition bar has been created jointly by the Department of Women and Child Development (WCD) and the Community Science Wing of the Horticulture College Vellanikkara, Thrissur under the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU). According to Dhanya Sooraj, Consultant Nutritionist, National Nutrition Mission- Kerala, the supplement is developed as a part of WCD’s Department’s Sambushta Keralam (nutrient-rich Kerala) project.

Also Read: Living With COVID-19 This Is How Students In Kerala Appeared For Their School Exams Amid The Ongoing Pandemic

While talking to NDTV about the initiative, Ms. Sooraj said that the nutritional supplement seeks to improve the general immunity and disease resistance capacity of children between the ages of three and six who are suffering from ‘severe underweight malnutrition’.

Explaining about the nutritional contents of ‘Thenamruth’, Dr. Seeja Thomas, Head of Community Science Department, Vellanikkara, Thrissur, who is leading the project said,

The nutrition bar is made with over 12 ingredients like rice, corn, wheat, ragi, soya flour, Bengal gram, groundnut, sesame, jaggery and liquid glucose. It is rich in nutrients such as iron, calcium and protein. A 100-gram bar comes with 439.65 calories, 15.05-gram protein, 13.21 gram of fat content, 5.23-milligram iron content and 238.71-milligram Calcium. It complies with the dietary requirements of a child as recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

She also added that each nutrition bar will cater to one-third of the daily nutrient and calorie requirement of children.

Also Read: Fight Against Coronavirus Pandemic: Kerala Launches ‘Break The Chain’ Awareness Campaign 

Distribution Plan: Eliminate Severe Underweight Among Children

According to Ms. Sooraj, the state has identified over 5,500 (5,537) children across all 14 districts of Kerala who suffer severe underweight malnutrition. These children are enrolled with Anganwadis and are already being provided with food as per the norms of the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS). The department of WCD plans to eliminate the problem of severe underweight among these children within one year in a targeted manner, she said. Currently, the department is carrying out a pilot project for one month under which the weight, height and other body measurement, deficiencies in the targeted children will be measured at the start, during and end of the project. During this one month, one nutrition bar will be given to each malnourished child every day free of cost and efforts will be made to understand if children are comfortable in taking the bar or if they are facing some problem in terms of taste or quantity.

So far, 1,15,000 units of nutrition bar have been prepared by KAU for distribution. The department is distributing the nutrition bars through Anganwadi workers in each village who are already distributing food to children at their home during the current COVID-19 lockdown, said Ms. Sooraj. The distribution has been completed in Thrissur district.

Also Read: Meet Kerala’s Coronavirus Warriors Who Are Tracking Thousands In Quarantine Everyday

She further said that the product is also a step forward to increase awareness about the importance of nutrition and how nutrition can help in building immunity and a healthy future.

Status Of Malnutrition In Kerala

According to the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS)- 2017-18, among the children under five years of age in the state, 20.5 per cent are stunted or have low height-for-age, about 12.6 per cent are wasted or have low weight-for-height and 18.7 per cent are underweight or have low weight-for-age. About 3.2 per cent of total children in this age group are severely underweight. Among the children between 1-4 years, 12.6 per cent are anaemic, and 17.1 per cent of them have high Vitamin A deficiency.

Also Read: Kerala Becomes A ‘Model State’ In The Fight Against Coronavirus: State Health Minister KK Shailaja Explains How

World

24,20,23,922Cases
20,36,06,535Active
3,34,95,808Recovered
49,21,579Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,20,23,922 and 49,21,579 have died; 20,36,06,535 are active cases and 3,34,95,808 have recovered as on October 21, 2021 at 4:33 am.

India

3,41,27,450 18,454Cases
1,78,831 733Active
3,34,95,808 17,561Recovered
4,52,811 160Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,27,450 confirmed cases including 4,52,811 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,78,831 and 3,34,95,808 have recovered as on October 21, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,96,645 1,825

29,333 1,075

64,27,426 2,879

1,39,886 21

Kerala

48,79,790 11,150

83,333 2,476

47,69,373 8,592

27,084 82

Karnataka

29,84,484 462

9,103 26

29,37,405 479

37,976 9

Tamil Nadu

26,90,633 1,170

14,058 268

26,40,627 1,418

35,948 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,61,810 523

5,566 88

20,41,924 608

14,320 3

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,058 11

112 6

16,87,048 17

22,898

West Bengal

15,82,813 867

7,491 63

15,56,315 795

19,007 9

Delhi

14,39,466 25

310 12

14,14,066 37

25,090

Odisha

10,36,532 559

4,387 106

10,23,849 451

8,296 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,735 34

185 3

9,91,979 36

13,571 1

Rajasthan

9,54,393 1

38 0

9,45,401 1

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,340 14

176 9

8,16,077 22

10,087 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,709 9

82 3

7,82,104 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,116 15

133 7

7,60,934 8

10,049

Bihar

7,26,036 3

30 12

7,16,345 15

9,661

Telangana

6,69,556 191

3,968 28

6,61,646 162

3,942 1

Assam

6,07,427 308

3,610 25

5,97,859 282

5,958 1

Punjab

6,02,113 32

232 16

5,85,331 15

16,550 1

Jharkhand

3,48,486 25

142 14

3,43,209 11

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,773 8

176 1

3,36,199 6

7,398 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,299 78

800 3

3,26,070 80

4,429 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,936 110

1,394 46

2,16,815 64

3,727

Goa

1,77,706 47

597 23

1,73,755 70

3,354

Puducherry

1,27,521 42

461 29

1,25,208 71

1,852

Manipur

1,22,970 71

1,360 2

1,19,706 66

1,904 3

Mizoram

1,15,207 741

10,263 505

1,04,548 1,243

396 3

Tripura

84,351 2

95 7

83,440 9

816

Meghalaya

83,158 79

761 21

80,958 58

1,439

Chandigarh

65,312 2

24 1

64,468 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,043 12

138 7

54,625 19

280

Sikkim

31,800 17

175 6

31,232 22

393 1

Nagaland

31,659 18

255 8

30,728 10

676

Ladakh

20,886 3

34 0

20,644 3

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676

2 2

10,670 2

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 1

7,510 1

129

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