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In a significant achievement, the Pune Zilla Parishad (ZP) has recently declared a remarkable decline in the prevalence of malnourishment among children between the ages of 0-6 years. According to the latest census and comprehensive health screening, the malnourishment rate has dropped to an unprecedented low of 0.1% of the population. This survey represents a milestone in our continuous efforts to combat malnutrition and ensure the well-being of our young ones.
Identifying Higher Prevalence and Undertaking Interventions
Over the past three years, the Pune Zilla Parishad has conducted four rounds of census annually to gain an accurate understanding of the malnourishment landscape. Through these surveys, we were able to identify pockets of higher prevalence and target our interventions effectively. Recognizing the urgent need for action, we collaborated with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners to provide essential support to vulnerable children.
Comprehensive Nutritional Support
To address the nutritional needs of children, we initiated several measures in collaboration with CSR partners. One of the critical interventions involved the distribution of free premixes of Horlicks and milk to all children. Additionally, we supplied energy-dense nutritious food and implemented the midday meal program under the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Abhiyan (PM Poshan Scheme). These initiatives aimed to provide children with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.
Specialized Medical Care and Monitoring
Recognizing that some children require medical attention, we ensured that they received specialized treatment from expert doctors under the Rashtriya Bal Suraksha Karyakram. By addressing their specific healthcare needs, we aimed to improve their overall well-being. Moreover, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers played a crucial role in monitoring the health of children and ensuring their compliance with prescribed medications.
Sanitation and Hygiene Measures
We believe that proper sanitation and access to clean drinking water are vital in reducing cases of diarrhoea and related illnesses. Therefore, we focused on promoting the universal use of toilets through the Swachh Bharat Mission and providing portable drinking water under the Jal Jeevan Mission. These initiatives have significantly contributed to the reduction in diarrhoeal cases among children, further improving their overall health.
Continued Commitment and Future Endeavors
The Pune Zilla Parishad remains resolute in its commitment to the well-being of all children, especially those who are currently malnourished. We acknowledge that sustained efforts are essential to ensure their rapid recovery and improved health outcomes. Building upon our success with the Anaemia Mukt Bharat program, we aspire to reduce the number of risky pregnancies and the birth of underweight children to near-zero levels.
The great decline in the malnourishment rate among children in Pune is a testament to the dedicated efforts of the Pune Zilla Parishad and its partners. Through detailed surveys, targeted interventions, comprehensive nutritional support, specialized medical care, and improved sanitation measures, we have achieved this remarkable milestone. We remain committed to providing the best possible care to all malnourished children and strive to create a future where every child in Pune can thrive in good health.