A Landscape Analysis of Nutrition Initiatives: in Madhya Pradesh Polices,Actors,and Networks

Madhya Pradesh fares poorly across indicators of nutrition, relative to other states in India, and there is wide disparity within the state. The prevalence of undernutrition is the highest in Madhya Pradesh (55 percent), followed by Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan as per UNICEF studies (UNICEF 2013), with National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) data recording 60 percent of children under the age of three years as underweight in the state. According to the India State Hunger Index, Karnataka has the highest prevalence of calorie undernourishment (28.1 percent), while Madhya Pradesh has 23.4 percent, Rajasthan has 14 percent, and Punjab has 11.1 percent. A number of reports and surveys, including the NFHS-3, highlight the need for substantial improvement in the nutritional status of children under six in Madhya Pradesh.

The Madhya Pradesh state-level response has made some progress in alleviating the problem of undernutrition through a dedicated mission called the Atal Bal Arogya Evam POSHAN Mission (ABM). As in Maharashtra, where the Rajmata Jijau (Mother-Child Health and Nutrition Mission) and Karnataka Nutrition missions exist, the ABM seeks to facilitate significant investment of finances, administration, and human capital essential for addressing undernutrition in a focused manner and for scaling up promising nutrition interventions. This is in addition to several government of India (GoI) policies that address undernutrition, such as the National Nutrition Policy, vitamin A supplementation policy, guidelines related to Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), and the Operational Guidelines for Facility-Based Management of Children with Severe and Acute Malnutrition (SAM), which are followed in most states.

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