Ashwini Kumar Choubey inaugurates national dissemination workshop on Anaemia Mukt Bharat

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the two-day national dissemination workshop on Anaemia Mukt Bharat and Home-Based Young Child Care (HBYC)

Health

Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog was also present at the inaugural function. The objective of this workshop is to orient the state program managers for rolling out these interventions.

Speaking at the function, Choubey stated that under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, we are here to witness the beginning of two significant programmes, the Anaemia Mukt Bharat and Home-based Young Child Care.

“Both of these programmes are our commitment to the ‘PoshanAbhiyaan’ in improving the nutritional outcomes in this population,” Choubey added.

Highlighting the achievements of the Health Ministry, Choubey said that India has taken huge strides in reducing Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) and achieving MDGs and with these initiatives we will be addressing the burden of anaemia and under-nutrition among children in the country.

“With an average prevalence of 40 per cent across all age groups, anaemia still is a challenge which needs attention,” he said. Choubey appealed to create a ‘Jan Andolan’ for nutrition and contribute to this hard-work of ensuring survival and healthy development of every new-born of future India.

At the function, Ashwini Kumar Choubey also released the Toolkit for Anaemia Mukt Bharat and Home-Based care for Young Child programmes.

Addressing the participants, Dr V K Paul said that under Poshan Abhiyaan, and as part of Anaemia Mukt Bharat, we have everything that technically should be there to address Anaemia in the country. “These interventions will make a difference. We have ingredients for all that can be done to make sure that no one is left behind,” Dr Paul added.

He further stressed that during the increased contacts/home visits with the ASHAs, importance should be given to nutrition, including breast feeding, how often a child should be fed (bringing in the concept of energy density) with optimum food, and information and awareness regarding early childhood development.

The Anaemia Mukt Bharat- intensified Iron-plus Initiative aims to strengthen the existing mechanisms and foster newer strategies for tackling anaemia, focused on six target beneficiary groups, through six interventions and six institutional mechanisms; to achieve the envisaged target under the POSHAN Abhiyan.

The strategy focuses on testing and treatment of anaemia in school going adolescents and pregnant women using newer technologies, establishing institutional mechanisms for advanced research in anaemia, and a comprehensive communication strategy including mass/mid media communication material.

A web-portal anemiamuktbharat.info has also been developed as part of the monitoring mechanism of the strategy, which would provide survey data on anaemia across beneficiary groups, target prevalence of anaemia as per POSHAN Abhiyan and quarterly HMIS based reporting of programme implementation coverage up to the district level.

The Home-Based Care of Young Child (HBYC) programme has an objective to reduce child mortality and morbidity by improving nutrition status, growth and early childhood development of young children through structured and focused home visits by ASHAs with the support of Anganwadi workers (AWWs).

The programme is envisaged to be implemented as an extension to the existing HBNC programme and will be rolled out in a phased manner. In the first phase (F.Y 2018-19) the programme will be rolled out in all the identified Aspirational Districts. In the second phase, all the remaining districts under Poshan Abhiyan will be included and in the third phase programme this shall be expanded to cover all the districts in the country. Under the HBYC programme, five additional home visits (in every three months) by ASHAs are proposed after the last visit on 42nd day, as in the existing HBNC programme. Thus, the contact of new-born with the health system is extended till 2nd year of birth.

ASHA will ensure exclusive breastfeeding till six months of life, adequate complementary feeding after six months, iron and folic acid supplementation, full immunisation of children, regular growth monitoring, appropriate use of ORS, appropriate hand washing practices and age appropriate playing and communication for children during each home visit.

Dedicated skill building, additional incentives, provision of additional commodities and additional home visits for SNCU discharged & sick-newborns are also included in the programme.

The participants of this workshop include senior officials from key Ministries (MoHFW, MWCD, MHRD, MoTA, MoRD) and State Nodal officers for both the programmes, representatives of various UN agencies and development partners.