Grow­ing up stunted

Stunt­ing, which re­flects chronic un­der­nu­tri­tion, is very high among tribal chil­dren in Mad­hya Pradesh. They can get nu­tri­tive foods from forests, but are de­nied ac­cess |

Down to Earth - - HEALTH - KUNDAN PANDEY

SHIVRAJ, NAME­SAKE of the chief min­is­ter of Mad­hya Pradesh, lost his one-year-old son Dharm­raj in Au­gust this year. “His growth was ex­tremely slow, and he was get­ting sicker and weaker with each pass­ing day,” re­calls Shivraj, a res­i­dent of Bhairopura vil­lage in Sheopur district of Mad­hya Pradesh. When his con­di­tion wors­ened, Shivraj took him to the health­care cen­tre at Kara­hal, the block head­quar­ters, where he was ad­mit­ted to the Nu­tri­tion Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre (nrc) that pro­vides care to chil­dren with se­vere acute mal­nu­tri­tion. Af­ter spend­ing 14 days at nrc, Dharm­raj’s con­di­tion im­proved and he was dis­charged. But back home, his health de­te­ri­o­rated again. And this time, he could not re­cover.

Till Septem­ber this year, Bhairopura vil­lage had lost four chil­dren to com­mon­lytreat­able ail­ments like fever and di­ar­rhoea. “All of them were mal­nour­ished,” says an­gan­wadi worker Manorama Chauhan. Her growth chart of chil­dren shows 10 of the

At least 155 chil­dren with se­vere acute mal­nu­tri­tion were ad­mit­ted to the Nu­tri­tion Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre at Kara­hal block in Sheopur in Septem­ber 2016 PHO­TO­GRAPHS: SRIKANT CHAUD­HARY / CSE

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