Odisha: Rs 1,000-crore scheme launched to boost nutrition

Bhubaneswar: In pursuant to the State’s 5T initiatives, a transformative strategy has been launched to bring about a substantial improvement in the nutrition status of adolescent girls, pregnant and nursing women and children.

It would be implemented in 125 hard-to-reach blocks in 22 districts. An investment of Rs 1,000 crore has been planned for the scheme in next five years.According to Women and Child Development Principal Secretary Anu Garg’s move, the key components of the scheme are prioritisation of the 125 blocks having worst nutrition indicators and adopting a lifecycle approach for an accelerated reduction in malnutrition in adolescent girls, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children below six years.There is a special intervention package comprising supplementary nutrition and testing and treatment for anaemia for adolescent girls in the 14-19 yrs age category, who are yet to be covered under the SAG scheme.

Pregnant and nursing women would be provided with one extra hot meal, which is in addition to the entitlements under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP). Children (0-3 yrs) would be covered under creches and provided with meals, health checkup, care and stimulation over and above their regular entitlements under the SNP.

There would be a major focus on the Moderately Acute Malnourished and Severely Acute Malnourished children with a drive for an early screening through Ojan Utsav and provisioning of modified food for the SAM children and modified THR to the MAM children. There is also a provision for improving the quality of supplementary nutrition by fortification of THR and rice. An annual nutrition survey planned under the strategy would help track the nutrition indicators and take appropriate steps for improvement. The strategy has been formulated in consultation with eminent experts, nutrition experts, nutrition scientists, practitioners, academia and development partners.

‘SOPAN’, with its innovative approach, would be another milestone in comprehensively covering adolescent girls, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children below six years in the 125 identified blocks and would help transform the nutrition scenario of the State. Notably, the program was approved by the State Cabinet on Tuesday.