Protocol For Management Of Malnutrition In Children
Smriti Zubin Irani

The ‘Protocol for Management of Malnutrition in Children’ will be launched during a national event at Vigyan Bhawan tomorrow ( October 10, 2023) under the Chairpersonship of  Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani, in the presence of Minister of State for WCD and Ayush, Dr Munjapara Mahendrabhai and the Secretaries of Ministry of Women and Child Development ( MWCD ) and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare ( MH& FW) .

Senior Officers from WCD and Health Departments from across the country would be participating in the event. Dignitaries and experts from key international and other organisations such as UNICEF, Indian Medical Association (IMA), International Paediatric Association, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)are expected to participate.

The event will also be attended by frontline functionaries including, CDPOs, Lady Supervisors, Anganwadi Workers and ASHA workers from across the country. During the event, Anganwadi Workers and ASHA workers, from different States/UTs, who have shown exemplary dedication and commitment to management of malnutrition among children, would be felicitated by the Union  Minister for Women and Child Development .

Malnutrition is a complex challenge necessitating collective action. Towards this objective, convergent efforts are required for achieving desired outcomes. Under the aegis of ‘Saksham Anganwadi and Mission Poshan 2.0’ of the MWCD, interventions to combat malnutrition are being orchestrated through a multi-sectoral approach in collaboration with key Line Ministries/Departments and with unwavering support and commitment from States/Union Territories.

Identification of malnourished children and their treatment is an integral aspect of Mission Poshan 2.0. Identifying, treating and managing malnourished children at Anganwadi Centres and within communities and understanding when to refer them to Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres (NRC) or for medical help, are decisions highlighting the importance of close collaboration between the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare .

Until recently, treatment of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was considered to be restricted to facility-based approaches. In this context, for the first time, a standardised national ‘Protocol for Management of Malnourished Children’ (‘Protocol’) has been drafted by MWCD with inputs from MH&FW, providing detailed steps for identification and management of malnourished children at the Anganwadi level, including decision-making for referral, nutritional management and follow-up care.

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