Centre:18 lakh children in India severely malnourished
According to Women and Child Ministry, there are more than 33 lakh malnourished children in India. This figure was reported from Poshan tracker, on which numbers are directly entered by anganwadis and are accessed by the Central government.
- Ministry further notes that, more than half of the children are in the severely malnourished category.
- Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat are topping the list.
- As per estimate, there are 17,76,902 severely acute malnourished (SAM) children and 15,46,420 moderately acute malnourished (MAM) children in India, as of October 14, 2021. These numbers were registered on Poshan tracker app, which was developed in 2020 as a governance tool for monitoring the nutritional outcomes in real-time.
- In between November 2020 and October 14, 2021, 91 per cent increase was seen in the number of Severely acute malnourished children. The number has increased from 9,27,606 to 17.76 lakh now.
Definition of SAM and MAM
As per World Health Organisation, SAM is defined as very low weight-for-height or the mid-upper arm circumference lesser than 115 mm, or presence of nutritional oedema while MAM is defined as moderate wasting or mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) greater than 115 mm but less than 125 mm.
Impact of SAM and MAM
Children suffering from SAM have low weight for their height. They are nine times more likely to die due to diseases because of their weakened immune system. Children suffering from MAM are at increased risk of mortality and morbidity during childhood.