The Centre plans to come up with firm guidelines on a scheme to tackle community-based malnutrition, which will include norms on the amount of calories required by a person.
Sources in the Ministry for Women and Child Development (WCD) say that the guidelines will be finalised by September.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had in 2013 issued draft guidelines but since then the administrative control of governing the community-based management of acute malnutrition
(CMAM) scheme has been passed on to the WCD ministry. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry had in 2016 revised its draft guidelines once again and submitted to the WCD.
The guidelines are likely to include a detection mechanism and parameter for malnutrition.
It will also include norms on the amount of calories required for a person. Sources involved in the discussions say that norms will identify the role of ASHA
(Accredited Social Health Activist) workers in identifying malnutrition
cases as well as in providing secondary support and indicating defaulters.
Sources also state that the government is considering two kinds of treatment methods- in-patient and community-based management of malnutrition.
Ministry sources say that broad guidelines will be laid down by the Centre, while the states will be responsible for the procurement and implementation of the scheme, which is slated to be fully funded by the Centre.
has been one of the grave concerns that has emerged in the latest National Family Health Survey. According to the survey, around 38.4 per cent of Indian children
under the age of 5 years suffered from stunted growth. Around 21 per cent of infants, aged under 5 years, were wasted, while around 35.7 per cent were underweight. On top of this, around 44 per cent of children
in the same age band were underweight, while 72 per cent were found to be anaemic.
The WCD, along with health ministry officials and stakeholders are in discussions to finalise the norms. The WCD had in fact, earlier this year constituted 2 sub committees (including one on the prevention of severe acute malnutrition) both of which consisted of representatives from the Health Ministry, doctors, nutrition experts and headed by the WCD.