Connect with us

Blogs

Opinion: Integrate Family Planning And Sexual And Reproductive Health Services In Nutrition Programming

Prevailing social norms, such as early marriage, teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions compromise nutritional and health status amongst young girls and also their infants, writes Poonam Muttreja

हिन्दी में पढ़े
Opinion Integrate Family Planning And Sexual And Reproductive Health Services In Nutrition Programming

September 1, marks the commencement of the POSHAN Maah (Nutrition Month) aimed at raising awareness on the significance of nutrition and the need to adopt a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This awareness initiative comes at a critical time as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a socioeconomic and health crisis, impacting personal incomes, food availability and healthcare provisioning.

Malnutrition is a global challenge, significantly contributing to negative health outcomes of women, infants and children. Despite remarkable economic growth, amongst 107 countries, India ranked 94th on the 2020 Global Hunger Index. The consequences of India’s nutrition crisis are enormous. In addition to being the attributable cause of one third to one half of child deaths, malnutrition causes stunted physical growth and cognitive development that last a lifetime. According to a recent study, preventing malnutrition, especially during the 1000-day golden period – conception to 2 years of age – has emerged as one of the most critical challenges for India’s development planners in recent times. The mother’s nutrition status prior to pregnancy is a key determinant of this outcome.

Also Read: Poshan Maah 2021: Can India Become Malnutrition Free? Nutrition Expert Dipa Sinha Answers FAQs on Nutrition

According to data from the fourth National Family Health Survey (NFHS 4 2015-16), a quarter of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in India are undernourished and 53 per cent of girls and women in this age group are anaemic. Data from the first phase of the NFHS 5 (2019-20) showed that the 17 states and 5 union territories surveyed have a total of 32.8 million undernourished women in the 15-49 age group.

It is an established fact that healthy mothers are most likely to have healthy babies and healthy babies are most likely to achieve their potential in their lifetime. However, there is evidence to show that adolescent mothers are vulnerable to pregnancy and childbearing related complications. Of all mothers, adolescent mothers are more likely to have preterm births. Prevailing social norms, such as early marriage, teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions further compromise nutritional and health status amongst young girls and also their infants.

Also Read: Opinion: Supportive Supervision Can Provide A Methodological Shift For Ensuring The Quality Nutrition Services

Family planning is an underutilised, but powerful tool for improving maternal and child nutrition. Access to quality family planning services and increased contraceptive use has the potential to improve pregnancy outcomes, child survival and health by widening the interval between successive pregnancies and longer periods of breastfeeding. Increased contraceptive use can reduce the number of maternal deaths by reducing unintended pregnancies. Family planning contributes to improved maternal health status by decreasing the risk of anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies. In contrast, women with early or closely spaced pregnancies are at high risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and thus, their infants are at higher risk of death.

It is important to recognize that reproductive, maternal and child health cannot be addressed in isolation as these are closely linked to the health status of the girls and women in various stages of their life cycle. As mentioned earlier, the health of an adolescent girl impacts pregnancy while the health of a pregnant woman impacts the health of the newborn. Integration of family planning and sexual and reproductive health services in nutrition programming is, therefore, an important intervention to consider at scale.

Also Read: Opinion: Moving From “Shhhhhh…” To Comprehensive Sexuality Education

The National Nutrition Week and Poshan Maah in September as part of the POSHAN Abhiyan of the Government of India provides a great opportunity to highlight the importance of using an integrated approach of programming pertaining to nutrition by states. It is equally important to ensure that POSHAN Abhiyaan becomes a community-owned, community-led, community-driven movement. Increased community demand for services will lead to improved service delivery in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other nutrition programmes.

Finally, social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) strategies must be used to address the social determinants of health, such as early marriage and teenage pregnancy and to sensitize mothers, families and communities to adopt appropriate nutrition, contributing to positive nutritional health outcomes for both the mother and child. Finally, governments and civil society organizations must work towards strengthening and expanding the reach of nutrition-related interventions and programmes.

Also Read: Opinion: How Renewed Lockdowns Might Affect Women’s Health Services In Rural India And Further Tire Already Weak Systems

Poonam Muttreja

Poonam Muttreja

Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India, has for over 40 years been a strong advocate for women’s health, reproductive and sexual rights, and rural livelihoods. She has co-conceived the popular transmedia initiative, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon – I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything. Before joining PFI, she served as the India Country Director of the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation for 15 years and has also co-founded and led the Ashoka Foundation, Dastkar, and the Society for Rural, Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI).

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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

22,95,44,435Cases
19,20,52,504Active
3,27,83,741Recovered
47,08,190Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,95,44,435 and 47,08,190 have died; 19,20,52,504 are active cases and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 3:49 am.

India

3,35,31,498 26,964Cases
3,01,9897,586Active
3,27,83,741 34,167Recovered
4,45,768 383Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,31,498 confirmed cases including 4,45,768 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,989 and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,27,629 3,131

44,269 960

63,44,744 4,021

1,38,616 70

Kerala

45,39,926 15,768

1,61,765 5,813

43,54,264 21,367

23,897 214

Karnataka

29,69,361 818

13,769 617

29,17,944 1,414

37,648 21

Tamil Nadu

26,48,688 1,647

16,993 9

25,96,316 1,619

35,379 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,40,708 1,179

13,905 483

20,12,714 1,651

14,089 11

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,693 13

194 0

16,86,612 13

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,710 537

7,741 69

15,36,291 592

18,678 14

Delhi

14,38,556 39

400 21

14,13,071 18

25,085

Odisha

10,21,216 462

4,844 103

10,08,226 560

8,146 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,120 26

297 0

9,91,260 26

13,563

Rajasthan

9,54,275 12

99 8

9,45,222 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,751 14

133 0

8,15,536 14

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,410 8

90 6

7,81,803 14

10,517

Haryana

7,70,754 8

328 12

7,60,618 20

9,808

Bihar

7,25,907 6

60 9

7,16,188 15

9,659

Telangana

6,63,906 244

4,938 53

6,55,061 296

3,907 1

Punjab

6,01,359 36

304 3

5,84,554 37

16,501 2

Assam

5,98,864 441

5,081 97

5,87,970 338

5,813 6

Jharkhand

3,48,139 14

65 10

3,42,941 4

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,405 12

249 18

3,35,765 29

7,391 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,214 145

1,450 11

3,22,345 154

4,419 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,403 263

1,715 99

2,12,033 162

3,655 2

Goa

1,75,690 107

886 76

1,71,507 29

3,297 2

Puducherry

1,25,618 101

922 55

1,22,864 46

1,832

Manipur

1,18,870 197

2,174 9

1,14,861 203

1,835 3

Tripura

83,956 51

353 7

82,794 44

809

Mizoram

82,815 1,355

15,363 223

67,184 1,127

268 5

Meghalaya

79,817 150

1,878 18

76,558 167

1,381 1

Chandigarh

65,195 7

44 3

64,333 4

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,190 64

413 3

53,504 60

273 1

Sikkim

31,014 43

627 27

30,007 70

380

Nagaland

30,959 52

470 3

29,832 46

657 3

Ladakh

20,743 6

144 6

20,392

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,360 1

9 1

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,607 7

17 4

7,461 3

129

Coronavirus Outbreak: Full CoverageTesting CentresFAQs

Leaving No One Behind

Mental Health

Environment

Join Us