Orissa to identify hunger pockets to check malnutrition

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 25 (PTI) Under attack from differentquarters, including NHRC, for high malnutrition among childrenin the state, Orissa government today decided to adopt amultipronged strategy and identify hunger pockets in order tocurb the menance, official sources said.

Claiming that the rate of malnutrition among childrenup to the age of 36 months had been reduced to 40 per centfrom 54 per cent, the state government plans to implement apolicy on food fortification besides other steps.

While under nutrition was now a subject under Womenand Child Development (WCD) department, some other departmentswould work in tandem to further reduce the rate, saidChief Secretary B K Patnaik after a meeting of NutritionCouncil chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Besides WCD, departments of Health and FamilyWelfare, School and Mass Education, Panchayati Raj, ScheduledTribe and Schedule Caste Welfare, Food Supplies and ConsumerWelfare and Rural Development, would work for endingmalnutrition, he said.

The food supplies and consumer welfare department wasalso asked to prepare a policy on food fortification andidentify pockets of hunger, Patnaik said adding additional8,000 anganwadi centres would be opened in the state with anaim to strengthen the under nutrition programmes.

While contemplating to prepare a malnutrition map byundertaking a complete survey in all gram panchayats focusingon the KBK region and other backward districts, the governemnthad also decided to set up 22 nutrition rehabilitation centresfor treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition(SAM), he said.

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