BHUBANESWAR: Stunting and gut dysfunction in children which are mainly attributed to malnutrition and various other infections have lifelong implications on cognition and human capital, opined experts at an international workshop here recently.
Speaking at the event organised by AIPH University, Professor of Department of Microbiology, Georgetown University Dr Steven Singer said, "All stakeholders, including public health researchers, policy makers and the government must make concerted and continuous efforts and give priority to deal with the issue."
In his presentation on giardia infection, Dr Singer said giardia infects an estimated 200 million children annually. "In fact, giardiasis is one of the major factors hindering growth in children, which should be addressed worldwide," he said.
As per the findings of the National Family Health Survey - 5, childhood stunting rate in Odisha stood at 31 per cent (pc) as against the national average of 35.5 per cent.
Chief Advisor-Cum-Mentor of 'The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security' Basanta Kumar Kar said, "Stunting, a key indicawtor of nutritional deficiencies, is a major public health concern in our country and Odisha. So, it needs to be addressed with topmost priority."
President Board of Governors, AIPH University and Director of International Microbiome Research, Georgetown University Medical Centre Pinaki Panigrahi said a white paper based on the findings and recommendations of experts, who attended the workshop, will be brought out.
AIPH VC Dr AP Dash, former Director of ILS Dr B Ravindran, Scientific Director of International Centre for Excellence in Research, Chennai Dr S Subash Babu also spoke.