Maharashtra govt launches ‘search operation’ to identify, treat nearly 6 lakh malnourished children in state

A ‘search operation’ is being conducted till August 31 to identify the children in the category of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

The Maharashtra government’s Department of Women and Child Development (WCD) has started implementing the ‘Nandurbar pattern’, a campaign to identify malnourished children and treat them, across the state.

A ‘search operation’ is being conducted till August 31 to identify the children in the category of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). According to data, there are 86,768 severe acute malnourished children and 4,97,007 moderate acute malnourished children in the state. The children identified via the search operation will be given proper treatment.

After a thorough study of several problems and complications in the malnutrition eradication programme, a meeting was recently held under the chairmanship of state WCD Minister Yashomati Thakur.

The Department of Women and Child Development has directed that the children in the SAM and MAM category should be admitted to the Child Development Centres at village level.

State Integrated Child Development Scheme Commissioner, Rubal Agarwal, said she was optimistic about the campaign. “Under the campaign, which will continue till August 31, all children in the SAM and MAM category will be screened.”

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“Thanks to such campaigns last year, we were able to save the lives of many children and their mothers, as these campaigns helped them get proper treatment. Every life is important, so we see this as a life-saving campaign. Appropriate treatment will be given to SAM and MAM children found through this screening campaign. The department has focused on ensuring an uninterrupted supply of nutritious food. If there is any problem in any area due to factors such as Covid-19 and monsoon, we will find the solution,” said Agarwal.

Special teams of expert doctors have been appointed for this mission. The teams will include community health officers, primary health centre medical officers, special medical officers, anganwadi supervisors, anganwadi workers and health workers.

The health check-ups will be carried out in a planned and scientific manner with the help of the Health Department and adequate equipment, said an official of WCD Department.

This mission also aims at capacity building of health workers and WCD Department’s staff, who are working at the village level to combat malnutrition and provide maternal counselling.

The teams are also tasked with conducting health check-ups and vaccinations for children aged 0 to 6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers and adolescent girls.

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