KAKINADA: THE rate of nutritional deficiency among women in East Godavari district is on the rise. Unhealthy and unbalanced eating habits are a major reason for this problem. As part of the Prime Minister’s Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), a total of 6,355 pregnant women have been tested and it was found out that the health of 818 women is at risk. The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is divided into 28 projects for administrative convenience.
As many as 25 child development project officers (CDPO) have been appointed to head these projects. There are 5,546 Anganwadi centres across the district with only 172 supervisors. “The number of women with malnutrition is on the rise in Rangampata, Jaggampeta, Chinturu and Devipattinam areas in the district and most of them come to the hospital only when other associated complications appear,” said a gynaecologist.
“Though severe nutritional deficiency cases are rarely reported, women with other complications like hormonal imbalance, renal problems or absorption issues need nutritional supplementation,” the doctor said. Though the AP government is funding free diet scheme for pregnant women under Anna Amrutha Hastham scheme, the State lags behind in providing pregnancy care. Added to nutritional deficiencies, problems such as traditional beliefs, fads and fallacies aggravate malnutrition.
Malnutrition lowers resistance to diseases, resulting in higher morbidity, apathy, lethargy and reduction of working efficiency. ICDS programme is a major strategy in providing children with the basic health and nutrition-related services, pre-school education and other supportive services such as water supply and sanitation. The supplementary nutrition in ICDS provides eggs, milk and 125 grams of rice and 30 grams of pulses to women.