Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Wednesday instructed officials to conduct health check-ups of children in collaboration with government health centres to prevent malnutrition and anaemia at a very young age. Speaking at a workshop on ‘Strategy for Eliminating Malnutrition and Anaemia in Karnataka’ in Bengaluru, Minister Sudhakar said that Asha workers and Anganwadi workers should work in tandem to conduct health checkups of children in collaboration with the Health Department and Rural Development Department.
Inspection by our department will determine whether the targets have been met. But if we really closer look into this, we are not doing a thorough job and we need to introspect if the check-ups were done properly. PHC Doctors should go to schools within their limits or the children themselves should come to the PHC and get checked. The education department should take serious note of this, Minister Sudhakar said.
Encouraging women to come forward for a health check-up at least once a year, the minister said that regular health check-ups for women and mothers in the state should be developed similarly to there is a tradition of going to the temple.
Mr. Sudhakar termed maternal death even in this day and age as a ‘disgrace’.
Karnataka has made great progress in the health sector. Good progress has also been made in the health index. But when it comes to malnutrition and Anaemia, we feel we can do more, he said introspectively.
He further said that the government under the leadership of Chief Minister Basavaraja Bommai is committed to addressing this challenge.
According to the Registrar General of India, the country’s maternal mortality ratio in 2018-2020 was 97. It was 301 in 2001-2003. Similarly, the infant mortality rate was 58 in 2005 and 27 in 2021. Although this is progress, there is still a way to go, Minister Sudhakar said, adding that the government hopes to ensure every Kannadigas should be healthy with the slogan ‘Healthy Karnataka, Sustainable Karnataka’.There is a need for coordination between departments like rural development, women and child development without which malnutrition cannot be eliminated. In every meeting in the health department, I talk about IEC activity. We have many national and state health programs. But in my opinion, IEC is not getting much attention to create awareness about the programs, he said.
Karnataka minister also said that the Union government has also provided a scheme to upgrade health sub-centers to health and wellness centers.
According to experts, 8 per cent of the budget should be allocated to the health sector. 5 per cent of the Karnataka budget is allocated for health. In the last 2-3 years during the pandemic, the health sector got more funding and health infrastructure was increased 5-6 times. The Union government has also provided a scheme to upgrade health sub-centers to health and wellness centers, he further said.
He also instructed officials to ensure that targets are met in vaccinations under the Mission Indradhanush program.
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