42.8% Children Malnourished In Bihar: Bihar Health Minister

  • On Tuesday, Mangal Pandey, Bihar Health Minister informed the legislative council that health cards were distributed among 1.22 crore children up to 18 years, offering supplementary medicines to deal with severe malnutrition, suffered by over 42% of the children in the state.

  • The minister, citing the latest National Family and Health Survey (NHFS-5), stated “Around 41% children suffer from low weight in respect to their age, while 2.40% are obese”.

  • It was alleged by Congress MLC Prem Chandra Mishra that the health department’s delivery system has worsened in the state over the last two decades and incidents of malnutrition and anaemia among children and expecting mothers had increased compared to other states.

  • However, it was admitted by the minister that about 63.5% of children in the age group of six months to five years were found to be anaemic and said the government has been distributing iron folic acid syrup, to be given to such children twice a week.

  • Pandey stated “Besides, children up to the age of one year are being provided anti-worm drugs regularly. Children suffering from acute anaemia are being treated under the national child health programme”.

  • Pandey admitted, to another query from the Congress member, that the prevalence of anaemia among pregnant women is around 58% and said that Asha workers were counselling the expecting mothers about healthy diet apart from offering medical supplements.

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