870 kids below 5 years, underweight in DK district

The survey reveals the importance of nutrition supplement given to the kids through anganwadis

There are 870 severely underweight children between the age group of zero to five in Dakshina Kannada district.

According to a survey conducted by the department of women and child welfare, there are 393 children suffering from severe underweight between the age group of below three years. This includes 190 boys and 203 girls. Between the age group of three to five, there are 477 kids who weigh below the normal weight, of which, 207 are boys and 270 are girls.

According to sources from Women and Child Welfare department, the severe underweight is due to genetical problem, diseases affecting the kids and malnutrition. The severe underweight is not due to malnutrition alone. Those kids who are severely underweight are given additional nutrition supplement through anganwadi centres. If the kids were found suffering from any diseases, then they are given Rs 750 per year for treatment.
“Just because a child is underweight, it does not mean it is malnourished. Underweight is measured by taking into consideration their height, age and birth weight,” the sources said. The average minimum weight of a child who is three years old is 8.5 kg. The minimum weight for a child between the age group of three to five is 12.5 to 14 kg. 
In April, 2011, about 1.90 per cent kids between zero to five years were suffereing from severeunderweight. However, in December 2011, it has been reduced to 0.9 per cent. The severe underweight is highest during May, as many kids do not visit Anganwadi centres. This clearly shows the impact of nutrition supplement given to the kids through anganwadi centres, sources said.

All the children in anganwadi are weighed every month to check the condition of the children attending anganwadi. After the direction from the High Court against the State’s apathy towards the issue of malnutrition, the departments of Health and Women and Child Welfare Development swung into action to address the problem, all over the State.

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