In the year 2017-18, Maharashtra had a total of 205582 underweight children, while Mumbai, in the same year, had 21,147 underweight children. While in 2015-16, underweight children in Mumbai were 25,341; and in the year 2016 -17, the figure was 20793.
The data further mentions that out of every four underweight children, three are from public hospitals while one is from a private hospital. In the year 2017 -18, in the urban population, as many as 43,551 cases were reported, and in Rural areas, it was 162031 cases.
Experts think, to treat malnutrition, it is needed to treat anaemia in mother first. Dr Ramesh Bhosale, Head of the Gynecology Department of Sassoon’s B J Medical College, said, “If anyone asks me, what is the biggest health problem that our country is facing, my answer will be – anaemia. Anaemia in women is stopping us from producing classes, and what we are producing is just masses. Anaemia affects the development of Intelligent Quotient (IQ) in the children. It affects their performance at school, and affects the country’s productive force output in a wrong way.”
“To tackle malnutrition in children, we need to treat anaemic women first,” he added.
Dr Aarti Kinikar, a paediatrician at Sassoon hospital, Pune, said, “At Sassoon Hospital, we have a Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) where we exclusively manage the underweight children. We then give dedicated treatment for children suffering from malnutrition. In urban areas, it is necessary to target slums by the dedicated plan to tackle malnutrition.”