The intervention will help children bounce back from the loss of learning, nutrition, and emotional well-being
Women & Child Development Dept., Govt. of Odisha has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American India Foundation (AIF) to implement an Integrated Programme for Children to collaboratively alleviate undernutrition, promote early childhood education (ECE), and improve the mental health of 10,000 children in the preschool age group and 12,000 children in the 11-15 years age range in the Thakurmunda & Gopabandhu Nagar Blocks of Mayurbhanj District.
As per The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 5, one in three children under 5 years is stunted in India (indicates prolonged under-nutrition) while 19.3% of children under 5 years are wasted in India (indicates acute under-nutrition). Further exacerbating the problem, only 13.6% of children aged 5 attended pre-primary school during 2019-20.
To mitigate these enormous challenges, this Integrated Programme undertaken by AIF will strengthen the ongoing efforts of the Government of Odisha by providing nutritious meals to children in the age group of 6 months to 3 years at Anganwadi centres, strengthening the skills of frontline and health workers for providing quality home-based care to sick children, reinforce the referral linkages for the timely referral of severely malnourished children and ensure school readiness of under 6 children and train the headmasters/teachers to integrate sessions of mental health as part of the school curriculum.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Basanti Hembram, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Department of Women and Child Development (W&CD), Lok Seva Bhawan, Bhubaneswar, and Shubha Sarma (IAS), Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Odisha at the W& CD Conference Hall, Bhubaneshwar. The signatories also included Nityananda Barik, Additional Secretary W & CD Department, and Mathew Joseph, Country Director, The American India Foundation.
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