Over 254 chil­dren died of mal­nu­tri­tion in Pal­ghar, says CM

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Megha Pol

THANE: More than 254 chil­dren suc­cumbed to mal­nu­tri­tion in Pal­ghar , while 195 foetal deaths were recorded this year, said chief minister Deven­dra Fad­navis while ad­dress­ing re­porters at the Thane col­lec­tor’s of­fice af­ter meet­ing all dis­trict of­fi­cials from the Konkan di­vi­sion on Thurs­day. He said the worst-af­fected ar­eas were Jawhar and Mokhada zil­las, where the num­ber of deaths has in­creased in com­par­i­son to the past two years.

Fad­navis, how­ever, said there was no un­nat­u­ral cause be­hind this rise in the num­ber of deaths. He also said a state-level task force, headed by the state health minister, will be formed to tackle the mal­nu­tri­tion is­sue.

The is­sue came to light af­ter four chil­dren died of mal­nu­tri­tion since Au­gust 30. A pre­sen­ta­tion on the rate of mal­nu­tri­tion in was given by the dis­trict of­fi­cials to the chief minister, who said cor­rec­tive mea­sures will be taken to ad­dress the is­sue.

Fad­navis said, “In the 2016-17, un­til Au­gust, 254 chil­dren and 195 foetal deaths due to mal­nu­tri­tion have been recorded so far. The ig­ure for the year 2015-16 was 626 and 565 in 2014-15. This year, the num­ber of deaths is com­par­a­tively low and there is no his­tor­i­cal in­crease apart from those recorded in Jawhar and Mokhada talukas.”

Till Au­gust, 47 chil­dren died in Jawhar due to mal­nu­tri­tion

while the num­ber for Mokhada stood at 75. The mor­tal­ity rate this year so far is 19 per 1,000 chil­dren, which is more as com­pared to 16 in 2015-16 and 18 in 2014-15. There are 6,034 chil­dren in the se­vere acute mal­nu­tri­tion (SAM) and mod­er­ate acute mal­nu­tri­tion (MAM) cat­e­gories.

“We are form­ing a task force com­pris­ing min­is­ters from health, women and child de­vel­op­ment and med­i­cal min­istries for bet­ter co-ordination between the dis­trict fac­ing mal­nu­tri­tion prob­lem. In Pal­ghar, we have started sur­vey­ing chil­dren be­low the age of six through An­gan­wadis and med­i­cal of­fi­cers. Around 111 of­fi­cers have been ap­pointed. We have in­cluded mal­nour­ished chil­dren in schemes such as Vil­lage Child De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre (VCDC) and Nu­tri­tional Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tres (NRC),” he said.

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