Under-nutrition at an early age not only undermines the physical development of a child but also adversely affects cognitive capacities, school performance and future economic prospects. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 (2015-16), 35.7 percent children below five years in India are underweight. In Jharkhand, in particular, the nutrition and health status of children remains critically low in comparison to the national standard. The latest data (NFHS-4) reveals that nearly 48 percent (which amounts to almost half of the children born) in the state are malnourished.
The eradication of malnutrition requires a multi-pronged strategy that could address the immediate and underlying causes and other determinants that affect nutritional status such as food security at household level, access to food within household, living conditions and access to quality healthcare. Gender, education, economic condition, political situation are other significant factors contributing to nutritional outcomes. Therefore a multi-sectoral approach is needed, which covers agriculture, education, livelihood, water and sanitation, social security nets, early childhood development and health care to control and reverse the malnutrition status of any geographical and geopolitical region.
Over the past few years, the government and many development agencies have taken up intensive work to tackle malnutrition in Jharkhand. Best practices have been developed. However, there is a need to collectively understand and critically review these best practices, so that they can be implemented on a large scale. Also needed is to create new collaboration opportunities and synergy among different stakeholders.
Mr D.K. Saxena, Director General, State Nutrition Mission visiting a stall
In view of this, Welthungerhilfe and its partners Centre for World Solidarity (CWS), Pravah and Abhivyakti Foundation (AVF) have organized the Jharkhand Nutrition Conclave – 2017. Attended by Mr D. K Saxena, Director General, Jharkhand Nutrition Mission, Sri Balram Jo, Right to Food Campaign, Dr. Raghunath Rao, National Institute of Nutrition (Hyderabad), Mr S. Jaiswal, Birsa Agricultural University, members of Food Commission, representatives of civil society organizations and academics, the two-day event aims to bring together best practices and experiences on malnutrition correction and control from Jharkhand and nearby regions. The participatory platform provides an opportunity to discuss, dialogue and debate the most contemporary and cross-sectoral issues pertaining to malnutrition and share and disseminate insights, experience and perspectives of the community as well as civil society organizations among various stakeholders.
An exhibition gallery and posters display are also part of the event.