Nutrition scheme brings around 19,000 slum people in Rajshahi
20 December 2015, Nirapad News: Around 19,000 slum poor and extreme poor families are getting health and nutritional supports contributing them to bringing out from the vicious circle of malnutrition in the city, speakers at a meeting here said yesterday.
The three-year scheme is being implemented since October, 2012 at a cost of around Taka 40.12 crore in order to substantial reduction of uterine physical and mental disabilities besides supplementing the national efforts to prevent maternal and infant death.
It is malnutrition, which puts the children into a state of compulsion to usually suffer from psychological impairment and different forms of mental disorders that appears as a threat to their future development.
Some of the major nutritional problems in the city like protein energy malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, iodine deficiency disorder, iron deficiency anemia, low birth weight, over nutritional and its complication and lack of nutrition knowledge are thought to be removed with the intervention.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) organized the exit meeting of Nutrition Component at its seminar hall saying the nutrition programme is being implemented with financial support of UNDP.
The component intends to improve the nutritional status of children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and adolescent girls of the project targeted households as the highest rate of malnutrition has been found among children living in the slums of the city.
With Nizam-Ul Azim, Mayor-in-Charge of RCC, in the chair, Chief Executive Officer Azahar Ali, Executive Engineer Nur Islam, Nutrition Expert Marufa Begum and CDC Federation President Ayesha Akter addressed the meeting, among others.
Nizam-Ul Azim said the component has arranged necessary counseling for 250 pregnant women and 1,280 breast feeding mothers, group meetings for 3,500 adolescents and courtyard meeting for 46,000 family members and 2,000 children discussing and highlighting significance of the aforesaid issues.
Referring to various research findings he mentioned that prevalence of malnutrition in slum areas is among the highest in the city. Many of children and women suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition including low birth weight, wasting, stunting, underweight, vitamin A deficiency, iodine deficiency disorder and anemia.
To address the problems, the target groups received direct nutrition and its related products like 5,15,460 Iron and Folic Acid tablets, 1,00,800 de-worming tablets and 40,515 dose suspension and 72,174 packet micronutrient powder.
As the schoolboys and girls are the most vulnerable to worm infection, the nutrition project is putting emphasis on making them aware about health hygiene and using sanitary latrine together with proper hand washing before taking every meal.
Lactating mothers need special care and more nutrition for maintaining their sound health and to produce sufficient milk for their growing babies. Besides, the breastfeeding mothers’ require higher caloric than other women as they need more significant quantity of energy.
To ensure healthy nutritional status during pregnancy and breastfeeding, most of the foods the mothers consume each day should be high in vitamins and minerals.
Nizam-Ul Azim mentioned more effective programmes should be taken to address the inequality in health indicators between the slum and non-slum areas.
The vulnerable population, mainly the poor urban women and children, must be included in all health services to improve their health status so that they can contribute to the society as a whole.