Micronutrients are essential vitamins and mineral required on a daily basis to ensure good health and to enable the body to fight diseases. They are referred to as micronutrient because individuals need them in small quantities for proper growth and development. Indian diets are typically cereal based and the low consumption of micronutrient rich food like pulses/legumes and vegetables/fruits is leading to deficiencies of multiple micronutrient. Though they can affect all age groups, but young children and women of reproductive age groups are the most vulnerable.
More than half of all women in the age group of 15-49, approximately a quarter of all men and 6 out of every ten children between 6-59 months of age are anaemic in India. Similarly, prevalence of anaemia in Madhya Pradesh as per NFHS 4 is 52.5% in Women of reproductive age group, 68.9% among children of 6-59 months. Moreover, Under 5 Mortality rate is 65, Infant Mortality Rate is 50 and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is 221 (SRS 2012-13) in Madhya Pradesh which is one amongst the highest in India. The fact that micronutrient deficiencies impact adversely on human health, even moderate levels of deficiency can have serious detrimental effects on human functioning along with profound implications for economic development and productivity cannot be ignored. Progress of major health indicators as per NFHS 3 and 4 clearly depicting that during last 10 years there is no significant improvement in health indicators as a result needs paradigm shift in terms of program approach.
Hence, In view of the above, it is necessary that along with supplementation programmes, dietary diversification and food fortification strategies to be adopted in Madhya Pradesh which is an effective measure to raise the vitamin and mineral level in the human body. Government of Madhya Pradesh is currently implementing many programmes such as National Iron Plus Initiative, Lalima Abhiyan, Dastak Abhiyan and working in a convergence approach.
State Food Commission and State Task Force on Food Fortification have also been constituted in April and May 2017 respectively in the State. To summarize, I can say that Government of Madhya Pradesh is putting all its efforts to improve nutrition scenario of Madhya Pradesh to reduce malnutrition and prevention of anaemia in life cycle approach.
State Program Representative,
The Micronutrient Initiative