Malnourishment among children highest in Madhya Pradesh: Study

Updated: Apr 29, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh has very high prevalence of malnourishment among children, a survey says.

The study conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY) across four states --Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan -- found child malnourishment to be highly prevalent in Madhya Pradesh as the share of children in the age group of 0-6 was 14.53 per cent, a decline of 3.34 per cent from the 2001 Census figures.

Madhya Pradesh has a child population of 10,548,295. According to the 2011 Census, the infant mortality rate in Madhya Pradesh is 72 out of 1,000 children born.

"In a random sample survey of 255 children across 11 settlements of Bhopal we found that 69 percent children were severely malnourished. Not only this, there is shortfall of 47 percent Anganwadi centres in MP," said Yogita Verma, director of CRY.

"Of the total budget of Rs 90 crore allocated for the National Nutrition Mission, the share for child health has seen a decline from 21.7 per cent to 17.56 per cent," Saighal said, adding child malnourishment in India was preventable if there is timely investment in terms of resources, staff and planning.

"These child deaths and diseases are entirely preventable. The most damaging effects of under-nutrition occur during pregnancy and the first two years of a child`s life. These damages are a leading factor behind India’s high infant mortality and morbidity rates," she said.