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Home Based Care for Young Child Crucial Component of Poshan Abhiyaan

Home-based Care for Young Child (HBYC) would be a crucial component of POSHAN Abhiyaan. Under this, ASHAs supported by Anganwadi workers (AWW) will visit the homes of children aged between 3 to 15 months and sensitise mothers on energy density and diet of child.

The HBYC would be rolled out within a month as will the social and behaviour change road map and action. The focus of the National Nutrition Mission will be on the first 1000 days of the child. 

These announcements were made at the first meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan was held today. The Council which has been set up under POSHAN Abhiyaan is the apex body to formulate overall policies, guide and monitor all nutrition based schemes. 

It was announced that the first lot of 40 Swasth Bharat Preraks is being dispatched by end of the month and would be available at district level to assist the staff in smooth roll-out. Under the Abhiyaan, Swasth Bharat Preraks will be deployed one in each District for coordinating with District officials and enabling fast and efficient execution of the Abhiyaan across the country. Swasth Bharat Preraks would function as a catalyst for fast tracking the implementation of the Abhiyaan. By July 2018, 315 Swasth Bharat Preraks are likely to be deployed in 315 districts of Phase I of the POSHAN Abhiyaan.

The mandate of the Council is to provide policy directions to address India’s nutrition challenges through coordinated inter-sectoral action, coordinate and review convergence among ministries, and to review programmes for nutrition on a quarterly basis.

The meeting also decided to include another 235 districts as part of phase 2 of Poshan Abhiyan in 2018-19, taking the total number of districts to 550. The selection of the districts has been made on the basis of level of stunting, all left wing extremism (105) and aspirational districts (117), and whenever a gap of 1 district was left to achieve saturation in States/UTs.

As many as 315 districts were already covered under the first phase of Poshan Abhiyan. The remaining 167, out of a total of 718 districts will be covered under phase 3.

Taking cognisance of the problems in procurement of tablets for Anganwadi supervisors raised by the participants, the Council decided to procure Smartphones instead of tablets.

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman Niti Aayog stressed on the need for ground level work and participation from all sectors, for converting the mission into mass movement and achieving the goals. 

Dr. Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog in his address highlighted that the focus is on the first 1000 days of the child and preventive care for adolescent girls, women and mothers. He also said that the meeting decided to conduct pilot in 10 districts for conditional cash transfer (CCT) through direct benefit transfer but States/UTs to continue their existing system of providing supplementary nutrition under Anganwadi services.

Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, said that various incentives have been made a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan. To encourage Anganwadi workers to use mobile phones for real time monitoring (ICT-RTM), incentive funds shall be provided for each Anganwadi worker per month. It will be linked to the achievements of certain targets.

Centralised call centre will be established for monitoring, grievance redressal and interventions. Speaking on the importance of ICDS-CAS, he said that it will help in collecting real time data enabling supportive supervision and timely intervention by department officials. He also added that it would further create robust monitoring, evaluation and analysis platform at all hierarchical levels, through an integrated dashboard. E learning module has also been created for Anganwadi workers. Comprehensive Guidelines and Manuals are now available at State Level for all Abhiyaan Components.

Mr Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, WCD Ministry said that there is a need to ensure convergence of various programmes spread across Ministries such as Anganwadi Services, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Scheme for Adolescent Girls of Ministry of Women & Child Development; Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), National Health Mission (NHM), Home-based New born Care, Home-Based Yong Child Care, Anemia Mukt Bharat  and Rashtrya Bal Swasth Krayakram of MoH&FW;   Swachchh Bharat Mission, Construction of toilets and WASH of Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (DW&S);    Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),  of Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD); and  Drinking Water & Toilets with Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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