Introduction to Tara For Need Welfare Society - School Health Care Program : Nutritional Assessment Program is a social welfare program designed, developed and organised by "Tara For Need Welfare Society Primary Care Centre" to look into the problems for assessing and evaluating the nutritional health index of the student age group population.
Introduction & Analysis of the problem : Health needs of the Children ( Regarding Malnutrition and Its effects on growth of the child ) Children of today are citizens of tomorrow, which is why it is extremely important to ensure proper health care facilities as well as adequate nutritional intake for the children.
Early childhood, that is the first six years constitutes the most crucial period in life, when the foundations are laid for cognitive, social and emotional language, physical/motor development and cumulative lifelong learning. For an example,The young child under 3 years is most vulnerable to the vicious cycles of malnutrition, disease/ infection and resultant disability all of which influence the present condition of a child at micro level and the future human resource development of the nation at the macro level. Thus the utmost importance of the findings on the nutritional and morbidity status of the children can never be over emphasised.
The consequences of child malnutrition for child morbidity and mortality are enormous and there is an adverse impact of malnutrition on productivity so that a failure to combat child malnutrition reduces potential economic growth at the macro level. At the micro level, malnutrition both protein energy malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies directly affects children’s physical and cognitive growth and increases susceptibility to infection and diseases.
It is obvious that there is urgent need to focus on the nutritional and overall developmental needs of children.
The prevalence of low birth weight babies (less than 2.5 kg at birth) is 22.5% as estimated by NFHS 3, but In NFHS 3 birth weight was reported only in 34.1% of cases of live births (60% of urban and 25% of rural). Since in 75% cases in rural areas, birth weight was not recorded, and health conditions are poorer in rural areas, actual percentage of low birth babies could be more than the reported figure.
The following anthropometric indices are taken to assess the physical development of children.
Height-for-age - inadequate Height-for-age indicate stunting
Weight-for-height - inadequate weight-for-height indicate wasting
Weight-for-age - inadequate weight-for-age indicate underweight
48% of children under age five years are stunted (too short for their age) which indicates that, half of the country's children are chronically malnourished. Acute malnutrition, as evidenced by wasting, results in a child being too thin for his or her height. 19.8% of children under five years in the country are wasted which indicates that, one out of every five children in India is wasted. 43% of children under age five years are underweight for their age. Underweight status is a composite index of chronic and acute malnutrition.
The 2011 census estimates the population of children below 6 years at 158.8 million. Nearly 40 % of these children are undernourished that is more than 63 millionchildren are suffering from malnutrition. Nutritional problems are substantial in every State in India.
The new NFHS-4 data for 15 states shows that 37 per cent of children under the age of five in these states are stunted, a fall of just five percentage points in a decade.
India has also failed to make progress on reducing anaemia. The proportion of anaemic children aged 6 to 59 months fell just five percentage points to 61% in 2014, and over half of women aged 15-49 are still anaemic. Of all men aged 15-49, a quarter are suffering from anaemia, as was in 2004. Haryana has the highest proportion of anaemic children (72 per cent) and women (63 per cent) while in Bihar and Meghalaya, one in three men are anaemic, the highest in the country. India has not made much headway in reducing anaemia in the last 30-40 years.
TARA FOR NEED WELFARE SOCIETY - NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM : Our mission is to deliver a seamless experience through the health system for people in our diverse communities, providing equitable access, individualised care coordination and quality health care assessment to the students of the schools and colleges ( both government and private sectors) . Our organisation provides a central access point for working with local volunteers, medical and para medical staff to full fill the below mentioned objectives of our NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.