AIIMS Bhubaneswar & UNICEF Odisha organizes media orientation workshop on

Bhubaneswar: Adolescence is a nutritionally vulnerable time as rapid physical growth increases nutrient demands. But under-nutrition among adolescents frequently goes unnoticed by their families or the young people themselves. Nutrition of the adolescent girl is particularly important as adolescence is a time to prepare for the nutritional demands of pregnancy and lactation that girls may experience in later life.
Keeping in mind the nutritional significance of adolescents, a media sensitization workshop was organized jointly by AIIMS Bhubaneswar and UNICEF Odisha through the virtual mode to have an insight into the key health & nutrition issues during adolescence and the probable solutions to address these challenges.
The workshop began with Dr. Debasish Hota, Prof & Head Dept of Pharmacology & Dean of AIIMS Bhubaneswar. He shared with audience about the adolescent health issues in rural area. Speaking on the nutrition of adolescent Prof. (Dr.) Sonu H Subba, HOD, Dept. of CM & FM, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar said “There are 253 million adolescents in India and they are the future of the country. Therefore proper nutrition of adolescents in very significant for the growth of the country as well.” She further emphasized on the issues faced by the adolescents ageing between 13-19 and what are the initiatives could be taken to address them.
Dr. Jugal Kishore, Director Professor and Head, Community Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi opined that low nutritional levels in adolescents including anemia can lead to poor productivity & functioning of adolescents. He also highlighted the rising trend of obese adolescents as a result of unhealthy eating habits. Dr. Vikas Kishore Desai, Technical Director, Urban Health & Climate Resilience, Centre of Excellence, Surat, mentioned about the projects related to empowering adolescents so as to find out their issues and ways of solving them. These projects aimed at adolescents can be replicated in other states too.
Speaking on Government Interventions to improve Health & Nutrition in Adolescents, Dr. Monica O Nielsen, Chief Field Office, UNICEF Odisha said “A larger part of Odisha’s population is rural. A program named Advika has been initiated by Women and Child Development Department of Odisha Government under which the govt has taken up the responsibility to educate & empower the girl child. The department is planning to include boys as well so as to tackle gender impartiality.
Ms. Radhika Srivastava, Communication Specialist, UNICEF opined that media, health institutions and development agencies should come together and work together for solving the issues of adolescents. “Instead of the highly impacted scattered programs, we should rather start a universal program in which we will able take up right plans for the adolescents. All the problems like drug abuse, psychological problems, and reproductive issues can be tackled together, said Manish Singh, Senior Journalist.
The workshop was attended by adolescents also. From the adolescents, Keshab and Purnima, spoke about the issues of adolescents and ways to tackle the situation.
The workshop was attended by media personnel, representatives from medical fraternity, public health professionals.