NEW DELHI: Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of malnourished children in the country with 74.1 per cent of those under the age of five suffering from anaemia and 60 per cent from malnutrition, the government said today.
According to the data of National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) 2005-06, 42.5 per cent of the country's children under the age of five are malnourished and 69.5 per cent are anaemic, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi in a written reply in Rajya Sabha said.
While Jharkand has the second highest number of malnourished children (56.5 per cent) followed by Bihar (55.9 per cent), Chhattisgarh has second highest number of anaemic children with Andhra Pradesh ranking third.
"As per the last NFHS-3, 2005-06, carried out by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 42 per cent of the children under five years of age are underweight and 69.5 per cent of under five are anaemic," she said.
The prevalence of underweight children under five years of age in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan is 37 per cent, 42.2 per cent, 55.9 per cent, 39.9 per cent respectively.
Nutritional anaemia is the most common type of anaemia among children and mainly includes iron, folate and Vitamin B-12 deficiencies.
"The government has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition and is implementing several schemes and programmes through state/UT administration, including Integrated Child Development Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls namely SABLA and Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna as targeted interventions," the minister said.