Over the past few years, there has been a sharp increase in severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases in the Rajasthan, according to social activists.
According to a Times of India report, social health activists with the Rajasthan Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (RJSA) told, "Earlier, it was assumed that SAM was in the 8-9% range, but recent figures show that it has almost doubled. This is shocking,"
This latest data released was highlighted in the clinical, anthropometric and biochemical (CAB) report of the census.
The RJSA has written to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje demanding action. According to CAB, the total number of severely acute malnourished children in the state include 15 to 16 per cent cases from villages. This indicates that an estimated 17,81,928 children below six years of age are severely undernourished.
Out of this, approximately 15,01,879 children are in rural areas in 2016-17, after adjusting the population figure of 2011 census to the current year," the letter said.
The activists also noted that the maximum number of children who die during neonatal, infancy and under-five age periods are from this group.
"We have suggested measures that can be taken to re duce the number of SAM cases in the state. We submitted the letter to the CM on Wednesday," said Chhaya Pachauli of RJSA.
"Children who survive have very low physical and cognitive capacity in later life and add to the very low-skilled adult workforce. This inter-generational menace ought to be arrested without any further delay . Children suffering from complicated SAM cases require treatment by specialized institutions, and uncomplicated cases need home-based treatment," the activist further added.
"Although, malnutrition treatment centres are being established in medical institutions and some form of compensation given to parents, the efforts of the government to address this emergency are inadequate both in quality and numbers at the moment," the RJSA told the daily.: Over the past few years, there has been increase in severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases in the state , according to social activists.