Child nutrition to given due importance: Renuka

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New Delhi, July 8 (UNI) Nutrition will be given prime importance in the development agenda, Minister of state for Child and Women Renuka Chowdhury today emphasised.

New WHO child growth standards will be introduced soon in India to effectively track progress, recognising child nutrition as a sensitive indicator of national development, she said addressing the third meeting of the executive committee of National Nutrition Mission here.

Reafffirming her commitment to placing nutrition first, the minister cited recent initiatives taken by her ministry such as universalisation of ICDS with quality, proposed Rajiv Gandhi Scheme of Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and expansion and strengthening of Food and Nutrition Board in this regard.

Ms Chowdhury also stressed the need for clear priority to be accorded from the period of pregnancy to first three years of life to prevent undernutrition as early as possible and avoid cumulative irreversible damage across generations.

Mr Anil Kumar, Secretary in the ministry, reiterated the need to give priority to optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and called for recognising IYCF counselling as a distinct service in ICDS with enhanced resource investment.

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