Superstition, malnutrition inter-related, says official

Superstition, malnutrition inter-related, says official

'Boys are fed nutritious food, girls neglected'

Superstition among the people of rural areas is a major reason for malnutrition among pregnant women and newborn, K Radha, Deputy Director, Department of Women and Child Development, said.

Speaking at a communication and skill development training programme on ‘Pregnant Women and Newborn’, organised by Grassroot Research and Advocacy Movement (Graam), in association with Unicef, here, on Monday, Radha said women get back to blind beliefs once they reach home after doctors explain reasons for malnutrition and suggest treatment.

“They believe the myths and fear that children would turn dark on consuming iron tablets and neglect the doctors’ advice. Moreover, they completely shun certain foods. This results in anaemia among women, who deliver weak babies,” she said.

“Several programmes are being organised for pregnant and lactating mothers. It has to be assessed whether such programmes and their benefits reach women. There are complaints that nutritious food distributed to pregnant and lactating women in anganwadi centres are consumed by other family members. At a few houses, while boys are fed nutritious and tasty food, girls are neglected. This hinders the government’s target of a healthy society,” she added.

Anganwadi and Asha workers should make door-to-door visits, create awareness and also assess if government schemes reach the beneficiaries, she said. Graam Executive director R Basavaraju and others were present.
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