Sundargarh draws nutrition map for well-being of women, children

It has been implementing various schemes and projects targeting the overall wellbeing of pregnant, lactating women and their infants.

Published: 04th May 2022 03:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2022 03:53 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

If one draws a comparison between the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2015-16 and 2019-21, Sundargarh has witnessed a significant improvement when it comes to maternal well-being and improvement in the percentage of children under 5 years who are underweight.

While the percentage of such children was 44.7 in 2015-16, it has reduced to 34.7 now. Aiming to further bring it down and effectively deal with mother and child mortality and malnutrition, the Sundargarh administration with the help of DMF funds and other available resources, is working on a comprehensive action plan. It has been implementing various schemes and projects targeting the overall wellbeing of pregnant, lactating women and their infants.

Food supplements to aid nutrition in kids

Recently, the Odisha government launched the SOPAN(Strategy for Odisha’s Pathway to Accelerated Nutrition) scheme in selected blocks of the State including seven in Sundargarh. The district administration extended the scheme to the remaining 10 blocks and four urban centres of Sundargarh from its own funding arrangement. Simultaneously, the district administration has introduced ragi (millets) – which is rich in multiple proteins, carbohydrates and minerals – in the diet of children coming to Anganwadi centres.

Under a specially designed nutritional programme launched on August 15, 2020, ‘ragi laddu’ is being given to 63,000 odd kids in the age bracket of three to six years through 3,809 anganwadi centres as morning snacks. Anganwadi workers are also engaged in regularly monitoring and recording the health, height and weight of the children. Under the Odisha Millets Mission (OMM), 11 blocks are under ragi cultivation of which seven blocks are funded by the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

Another innovative move was introduced to provide children a dietary supplement of Spirulina, highly nutritious blue-green algae. Sundargarh is touted to be the first in eastern India to do so. Through 3,801 anganwadi centres, above 1.42 lakh children are supplied with Spirulina food supplement. Children in the age group of seven months to two years are given Spirulina sugar, while children between two and six years are given Spirulina fortified ‘chikkis’.

This was launched as a pilot project in the Lefripada block and shortly after, it was extended to the remaining 16 blocks and four urban centres of Sundargarh. For this purpose, an MoU was signed between the district administration and Spirulina Foundation in Karnataka. To strengthen the distribution network, distribution of Spirulina has been integrated with the ICDS, while two women SHGs under Mission Shakti have been entrusted to operate Spiriluna ‘chikki’ making units at Rourkela and Sundargarh.

The introduction of Matrujyoti scheme, an independent and DMF-funded programme to curb the Mother Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), is seen as another significant move. Pregnant women across the district are entitled to four ultrasound tests and associated tests including BP, sugar, and haemoglobin as part of the Antenatal Care (ANC) Service. They are accompanied by AHSAs of their localities for the tests.

Admin focus on high-risk pregnancy cases

Sundargarh Chief District Medical & Public Health Officer (CDM&PHO) Dr SK Mishra said the Matrujyoti initiative is aimed at management and early medical intervention in high-risk cases to avoid pregnancy-related complications. To ensure safe motherhood and childbirth, the focus is on detection, diagnosis and providing early medical intervention whenever needed, he said. Through this initiative, post-birth high-risk cases including low birth weight of baby, twin birth, cord around the neck (breech position) and low amniotic fluid level, among other things, have been successfully managed. Between November 9, 2020 and March 31, 2022 as many as 1,531 high-risk cases have been managed.

Additionally, the district has set up 20 Maa Gruha or Maternity Waiting Homes (MWHs) for hard to reach areas of which 14 MWHs are run independently with DMF support. Pregnant women from nearby areas are brought to MWH for safe institutional delivery and kept there under observation for a few days post-delivery. During their stay, they are provided nutritious food, regular health checkups, sensitised on lactation, personal hygiene, ways to take care of themselves and the newborn babies, immunisation and family planning.

The administration plans to open 20 more MWHs to cover the left out remote pockets. From October 2020 to March 2022, over 7,000 pregnant women have availed free services of the Maa Gruha, informed the CDM&PHO. -- Woes of the world stem from the fact that humans, by and large, subscribe to a foolish notion that conservation is for nature’s benefit...


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