Odisha emerges as ‘Nutrition Champion’ in international study

Bhubaneswar: Odisha, considered one of the backward states in India, has made significant progress in reducing the child undernutrition, revealed a study by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The study sheds light on nutrition success stories on the ground in countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal, Peru, Thailand, and Vietnam to Ethiopia and the state of Odisha in India.

The east Indian state of Odisha emerged as “nutrition champion” among 28 states.

As per the findings of the Washington DC-based institute, stunting reduced from 46.5% of children below five years in 2005-06 to 35.3% in 2015-16 in Odisha. Similarly, the proportion of underweight children decreased from 42.3% of children below five years to 35.8%, and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) reached 34% more people in 2017 as compared to those in 2014.

Worth mentioning, Odisha has performed better than richer states, such as Gujarat, in delivering ICDS.

From September 1, government is all set to launch “Poshan Abhiyan” — a scheme which aims to improve nutrition among children, lactating mothers and pregnant women on the occasion of National Nutrition Week and make India malnutrition free by 2022.

Similarly, the child and maternal health improved faster in Odisha as compared to poorer states.

In Odisha, coverage of antenatal care went up from 48.3% of beneficiaries in 2005 to 64% in 2015, compared to Bihar where it increased from 16.9% in 2005-06 to 18.7% in 2014-15. In Maharashtra, this proportion increased from 62.1% to 67.6%, the study found.

Likewise, institutional births increased from 35.6% of all births to 85.3% in 10 years to 2015 in Odisha. In Bihar, rose up from 19.9% in 2005 to 63.8% in 2015.

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