In its bid to identify and treat malnutrition cases among children efficiently, the Maharashtra government has introduced a new scientific formula – Screening, Training, Treatment and Research (STTR). With this programme, the state government aims to search the root cause of malnutrition cases in Maharashtra.
“The new scientific formula will help us to know why malnutrition has been a persistent problem in the state for so many years. From now on, the medical education department will send their team of doctors run a campaign through the whole year,” said Girish Mahajan, medical education minister.
As part of the initiative, during Diwali, Mahajan, along with 50 doctors, spent two days in tribal areas of the state. The team celebrated the festival of lights with children in Mokhada taluka under the banner of ‘Healthy Diwali’. Mokhada taluka has been infamous for malnutrition in children for a long time.
Recently, the Bombay High Court had directed the state government to check on the malnutrition deaths in Maharashtra. According to a petition filed in the court, there had been 18,000 child deaths, which included stillbirths in 2015-16.
“Malnutrition has been a long-standing problem in the state. We decided to search the cause of this problem and so, we decided to adopt the new scientific formula, which is designed by a panel of expert doctors. Now, with the help of this formula, we are working on the entire state. Mokhada taluka is a pilot project. Gradually, we will replicate it in other tribal areas,” said Mahajan.
He added that during the visit, he found that apart from health-care problems, unemployment and poor water facility is a major concern for the residents across the year. The department will submit its report to Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, soon with recommendations from experts.
“I am grateful to our doctors who have been working in this area and screening the children,” said Mahajan.
For this campaign, TP Lahane, dean, Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Dr Ajay Chandanwale, dean, BJ Medical College, Pune, Dr Nagsesn Ramaraje, Dr Sadiq Patel from JJ Hospital and Dr Sandhya Khadse from a Pune hospital were also present.
Rameshwar Naik, coordinator of this campaign, said he feels the new STTR scientific formula will help health experts to know the cause of malnutrition. In this campaign, there are different government-run medical colleges and doctors’ team will come and offer their service as per decided protocol which will be framed by experts.