RAIPUR: Not willing to diminish the convincing results achieved on the notable decline in malnourishment among children, the Chhattisgarh government has taken a decision to reopen all Anganwadi centres from Monday (September 7) to curb threats to their health and well-being. The centres would run amid strict compliance to hygiene and COVID-19 guidelines in the premises.
During the lockdown and the unlock phases, the beneficiaries were provided with dry ration at their homes by the Anganwadi workers from the women and child development (WCD) department, as all centres remained closed since March 14.
According to the WCD officials, Chhattisgarh is the first state to reopen Angadwadi centres ans it also has strong justification for doing so. "International agencies like WHO, UNICEF have expressed apprehension on a likely increase in malnourishment owing to COVID-19, so there is a pressing need to take effective steps to restrain malnutrition among the Angadwadi children. The present scenario might pose difficulty while attempting to further bring down the existing malnourishment that Chhattisgarh has earlier achieved," said R Prasanna, Secretary (WCD department).
The officials believe that the freshly cooked nutrition-rich food served at the centre usually create far better impact than the offered dry ration on lowering the level of malnutrition.
There has been a significant decline by 13.79 percent in malnourishment in Chhattisgarh during the span of six months from October 2019 to March 2020, after the launch of Mukhyamantri Suposhan Yojana following the reports of national health survey (NHFS-4) and NITI Aayog that earlier cited 37.7 percent children from 0-5 years in the state as malnourished.
The buildings of Angadwadi centre are to be sanitised daily, every child and worker to mandatorily undergo thermal screening and sanitisation by soap before entering the premises. The beneficiaries will be called in different groups, at allotted intervals in a day and at any given time not more than 15 individuals will be allowed to remain in the centre. Those found suffering from cold, cough and other apparent symptoms would be denied entry, the circular of WCD department stated.
Those centres that fall in COVID containment zones or been asked to remain closed by the concerned district administration will not function.
All preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 are to be strictly followed at every centre. The supervisors, Angadwadi workers and assistants are being given separate training ahead of reopening of the centres.