The state government, while claiming that infant mortality rate in the state has improved and malnutrition has declined drastically, announced a special drive for the eradication of the malnutrition in urban areas.
The state government released the report of the study conducted by International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), supported by the Unicef, on malnutrition across the state.
According to the report, stunting in infants below two years of age has come down to 22.8% in 2012, from 39% in 2006. It also states that the percentage of underweight infants is down to 21.8%, from 29.6%.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, after releasing the report on Monday, said that the government will launch a drive for eradication of malnutrition from urban areas. The drive will begin on November 14 and conclude in April 2013.
"The survey conducted by IIPS has revealed that malnutrition was witnessed in urban areas as well. The study will help us come up with measures in the right direction,"
The CM added that according to the Unicef parameters, the first two years of as child’s life are crucial, and the government wanted to focus on that.
Chavan expressed his discontent about the rate of breastfeeding. "The rate of the institutional deliveries has improved, and nearly 90% pregnant women go for the three compulsory check ups, but only 60% breastfeed. The advertisement campaigns of the infant-feeding products are to be blamed for the same. This needs to be improved, as nothing is important than breastfeeding the infant within the first hour of delivery,"
Chavan also claimed that the infant mortality rate in the state has come down to 25 per 1000 births, from 28 in 2006.