About the scheme
- POSHAN Abhiyaan (also known as National Nutrition Mission) is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development that aims to improve nutrition amongst children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
- Launched in 2018, it is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
- The mission targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
- The mission also strives to achieve a reduction in Stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022 (Mission 25 by 2022).
- Amongst India’s most serious yet marginally addressed development challenges is malnutrition, which contributes significantly to the country’s disease burden.
- Even as National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4) data shows that the country’s malnutrition rates have gone down, half of all children from families in the lowest income quintile are still stunted (51 percent) or underweight (49 percent).
- Today, India is home to the largest number of stunted children (46.6 million) and wasted children (25.5 million) in the world. More than a third of children under five suffer from stunting and wasting and 40% of children between one and four are anaemic.
- According to the NFHS-4, over 50% of pregnant and non-pregnant women were found to be anaemic.
- To ensure community mobilisation and bolster people’s participation, every year the month of September is celebrated as Rashtriya Poshan Maah under POSHAN Abhiyaan across the country.
- The activities in the Poshan maah are focussed on Social Behavioural Change and Counselling (SBCC). The broad themes are: antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding (early and exclusive), complementary feeding, anaemia, growth monitoring, girls’ education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene, and sanitation, eating healthy and food fortification.
Why in News?
- During the ongoing Poshan Maah 2022, for anemia prevention and treatment in children, adolescent girls pregnant and lactating mothers, various activities such as T3 camps (test, treat, talk), IFA distribution, seminars, Ayush for anemia, webinars, quiz and recipe competition, traditional food practices, awareness rallies are being conducted throughout the country.
- Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells (RBCs), and consequently their oxygen-carrying capacity, is insufficient to meet the body’s physiological requirements.
- Dietary habits play a critical role in the development of iron deficiency and subsequent development of iron deficiency anemia. While iron deficiency anemia is the most common form and is relatively easy to treat through dietary changes.
- Food based approaches to increase iron intake through dietary modification/ fortification / diversification and provision of hygienic environment are important sustainable strategies for preventing Iron Deficient Anemia in the general population.
- As part of its comprehensive strategy to tackle anemia, Government of India has included staple food fortification from Central Ministries for schemes/programs in multiple States.
- As a part of Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) strategy under Jan Andolan, around 6,278 Anemia camps, 1,853 Outreach activities in urban slums, 855 Quiz competitions for students, and 1,63,436 activities were carried out on anemia during Poshan Pakhwada, 2022 in March.