Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda urged policy makers to find out of the box solutions to eradicate malnutrition and suggested that there is an urgent need for accelerating action at the state-level.
He said that this ( state level action) is essential for changing the trajectory of India’s children’s future as the battle against under nutrition must now be fought at ground level in communities and at home and “Strengthening full accountability for delivery of set of high impact nutrition interventions critical to ensuring accelerated improvements in nutrition.”
Union Health Minister along with Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development released the “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015” and “Global Nutrition Report” at a function ‘Made in India: Good Nutrition for All: Implications of the Global Nutrition Report and the India Health Report for Nutrition Security in India’, jointly organized by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in New Delhi on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, Nadda also emphasized on providing timely and evidence based holistic interventions using a continuum of care approach, in a convergent manner with all concerned departments such water, sanitation, hygiene, education, agriculture and food security. The Health Minister also added that “India remains committed to this critical issue and stands ready to work with all stakeholders to eradicate malnutrition”. T
Further the Health Minister added that with the launch of the Rural Health Mission and the subsequent National Health Mission, India has moved from its earlier vertical approach to a new strategic approach, the RMNCH+A, bringing focus on all the life stages with nutrition as a cross cutting issue especially for adolescents.
Maneka Gandhi highlighted the role of Angawadi in eradicating malnutrition. She also laid stress on imparting essential training to Angawadi workers and further reiterated the need for more coordination between Angawadi workers and ASHAs and also between various ministries.
At a CII Health Summit, Nadda announced setting up of a Special Task Force comprising the of Ministry and the private sector representatives to further deliberate on the further contours of partnerships. He said, “We have been in constant dialogue with the industry on health issues for so many years and now the time is ripe for us to move forward. I assure the Government’s commitment to promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience, expertise and mutual trust.”
Nadda highlighted some challenges in the health sector such as like variation in health facilities between urban and rural areas, variation between public and private health services and issues of regulation regarding health activities. The Health Minister said generally the focus lies on secondary and tertiary but primary healthcare also needs more attention. Paucity of human resource in health, inadequate infrastructure, poor logistics and supply chain arrangements to ensure essential drugs and supplies continue to be areas of concern, the Health Minister added.