Fighting malnutrition with Ayush, Yoga solutions

The Indian government is all set to adopt time-tested and scientifically proven Ayush-based solutions and Yoga practices to tackle the problem of malnutrition in mothers and children.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Women and Child Development to address the malnutrition challenge as part of the POSHAN Abhiyaa (National Nutrition Mission) programme.

“Nutri-gardens and medicinal gardens will be established in every Anganwadi in near future,” said Smriti Irani, Minister for WCD.

Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of AYUSH, said Ayurveda and other AYUSH systems have much to contribute in dealing with mild and moderate mal-nutrition by way of specific measures such as right intake of diet by pregnant women, feeding practices by lactating mothers, use of traditional products augmenting milk secretion, nutritional food for children etc.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH and Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, signed the MOU at a function held in New Delhi on Sunday.

As per the agreement, the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of WCD would be working together towards integrating Ayush in POSHAN Abhiyaan and management of malnutrition through the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga and other Ayush systems.

POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission is Government of India’s flagship programme under the Ministry of Women & Child Development to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The specific areas identified for co-operation include: (i) Integration of AYUSH into POSHAN Abhiyaan and (ii) Control of malnutrition through the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga and other Ayush systems.

1) At Anganwadi Centres

A.         Yoga programmes

B.         Visit of AYUSH workforce to Anganwadi Centre once in a month followed by sensitization meeting of AYUSH medical officers with Anganwadi workers in coordination with State health Authorities (Department of WCD)

C.         Development of PoshanVatika.

2) For AYUSH Nutritional Care

A.         Generation of baseline data in nutritional status of targeted population

B.         Provision of Telemedicine/ AYUSH helpline / call centres through Common Service Centres

C.         Customization of region specific nutrition

D.         Proper documentation of all efforts for scientific evaluation

3.         IEC activities to develop awareness among the community about the traditional indigenous food items and promote the concept of nutrition based on Ayurveda and other AYUSH systems

4.         The Anganwadi worker who is providing the Ayurveda nutrition message to the community at ground level may be designated as ‘DHATRI’ - Dedicated Health Activist to Replenish the Innutrition.

5.         Other such activities for promotion of Ayurveda and other AYUSH systems and providing holistic nutritional care through integrated approach.

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