Rural Malnutrition: A Curse We Can Overcome

Rural Malnutrition: A Curse We Can Overcome

Health is our most incredible wealth. Having proper nutrition is essential for maintaining good health inside out. What is Nutrition? It is the appropriate balance of the vital nutrients in your food. A food that has protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals and water in the right proportion, can be considered as a nutritious food. We must protect our body, which is like a temple, and we should take care of our body so that the soul can reside in it. What you eat defines who you are. In addition, to live a healthy and happy life, you must know your system well and lead a life accordingly.

THE HORROR OF MALNUTRITION

Amongst the gravest of problems India and other developing countries are suffering from right now, malnutrition stands strong. It is the condition when the diet lacks one or more nutrients or contains too much of them than necessary. Infants and young children need high nutrition for their growth and development. That is why they are the most vulnerable to malnutrition. In addition every one out of three children in India is prey to malnutrition. In addition, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that malnutrition is responsible for 54% of child mortality worldwide[1], while for children under the age of five years, childhood underweight accounts for 35.0% of all deaths worldwide[2]. Developed countries, 52.0 per cent and 34.0–62.0 per cent of school-aged children are stunted and underweight, respectively.

Malnutrition can be caused to a certain degree by several factors such as insufficient food consumption, intake of poisonous food, illnesses, lack of sanitation, social deprivation and genetic contribution. Reports documented that children who live in households that lack access to sufficient clean, healthy food are more likely to be predisposed to poor nutrition and health-related problems than children from families that have secured source of food.[3]

Malnutrition And Undernutrition

The problem of malnutrition is now coupled with undernutrition, hence giving birth to the double burden of malnutrition. The double burden of malnutrition can manifest at the individual level when the development of two or more forms of malnutrition is observed simultaneously. For example, a particular child often manifests as stunting or micronutrient deficiencies co-occurring with overweight or obesity. Above all, on the household level, the double burden of malnutrition may arise from contrasting forms of malnutrition in multiple family members. For example, when a mother is overweight, and a child is underweight. While at the population level, both undernutrition and overweight are prevalent in the same community, nation, or region. Studies conducted in LMICs, such as Brazil, China and Russia reported a high prevalence of underweight or stunting and overweight in the same population, or on household levels with both obese and stunted or underweight individuals.[4]

RURAL MALNUTRITION

Marked by significant malnutrition and ceaseless hunger, consistent poverty and lack of economic opportunities, rural areas continue to be in crisis in many parts of the world. A substantial portion of the world’s poor people dwells in rural areas. Rural populations account for almost half of the world’s total population. Above all, the transformation of pastoral economic and social situations needs a holistic financial approach which sincerely connects rural and urban economies. Bhavyata Foundation has taken healthy initiatives that are helping in the process of strengthening the connections between rural and urban economics. In addition, this approach can mark a significant growth in the overall situation of India. Among the six initiatives of the organization, there is Hunger Free Nation which sheds light upon the access of malnourished children of Mumbai to nutritious food.

Bhavyata Foundation’s Efforts

Bhavyata Foundation focuses on bringing reforms to the socio-cultural-economic field of India and restoring values. Sustainable development, empowerment of the underprivileged, and paving the way of economic and social prosperity are the nodal points of the projects of the organisation. In addition, Hunger Free Nation undertakes the responsibility of eradicating the horror of hunger and poverty in the slums of Mumbai. Above all, the focus of the Foundation was always education-centric empowerment. And development and eradication of the horror of hunger in the nation. In the year 2019–2020, Bhavyata Foundation adopted a slum school in Majiwada, Thane. Keeping in needs of challenges posed by malnutrition and access to hygiene and sanitation. It also provided catering to daily nutritional needs of 110 students in two schools of Navjeevan Prathamik

Vidyamandir made available daily hot, nutritious lunch meals to all students. More than eight workshops and seminars in the field of wellness, health and hygiene, sports and exercise, pedagogy, nutrition and cooking, prenatal and ante-natal care were organised.

Infants and young children are the backbones of our Nation. Above all, a healthy child marks the healthy development of our country. In addition, the removal of poverty, malnutrition and hunger is our foremost priority and united we can stand strong enough to withstand the ravages of the problems.

References

[1] D. Christopher, B. John, W. Watkins, and A. Walker, Nutrition in paediatrics: basic science, clinical application, Decker, B. C., Hamilton, Canada, 2008.

[2] M. de Onis, M. Blössner, and E. Borghi, “Prevalence and trends of stunting among pre-school children, 1990–2020,” Public Health Nutrition, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 142–148, 2012.

[3] M. Bhargava, P. Aggarwal, SD. Kandpal, and J. Semwal, “Magnitude of undernutrition in urban and rural school-going children of district Dehradun using WHO reference standards Ntl,” J of Community Med, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 452–457, 2015.

[4] Modjadji, P., Madiba, S. The double burden of malnutrition in rural health and demographic surveillance system site in South Africa: a study of primary school children and their mothers. BMC Public Health 19, 1087 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7412-y

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