Chandigarh June 18: Haryana Government has decided to implement Food Fortification Programme in the State to provide nutritional food to women and children so as to improve their health and prevent nutritional deficiency. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of General Body of State Health Mission, Haryana under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal here today.
To begin with, this programme would be implemented in one block of district Ambala on pilot basis and on the success of this ambitious programme, it would be replicated in the entire State. Mr Manohar Lal said that health sector is one of the priority areas of his government. He said that by providing nutritional food items, the nutritional level among the women and children could be considerably improved.
This would also help in reducing the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the State which is at present 41 per 1000 live births. Haryana has a target to reduce the IMR to 28 by the year 2017. He said that Haryana State Nutrition Mission has also been started to address the nutritional needs of the women and children. He said that though the State has done considerably well in key health indicator like Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) which has been reduced to 127 per one lakh live births, IMR is still a matter of concern for the State.
It was informed in the meeting that food fortification with iron, folic acid and vitamins is one of the most effective methods to improve health and prevent nutritional deficiencies. A comprehensive plan is being chalked out by Departments of Health, Education and Women and Child Development for the successful implementation of this programme under which help of millers would also be sought. Under this programme, food items mixed with vitamins and other nutrients would be prepared with the help of millers before their distributing among the beneficiaries. The Chief Minister stressed the need to further improve the sex ratio in the State which is at present 864 per 1000 males. For this, he directed the officers to ensure the effective implementation of ambitious ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Programme’.
He also directed them to make the people aware about the provisions of Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act. On this, he was apprised that software is being prepared by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and all the Ultra Sound Centres in the State would be linked with this software. Those centres which do not link with this software would not be allowed to function. Apart from this, meetings at the level of Deputy Commissioners were also being held regularly to ensure strict implementation of PNDT Act. It was also informed that three rounds of Mission Indradhanush have been completed.
The Mission was started in April 2015 as an intense immunization drive of seven days in a month for four consecutive months with an aim to cover all unimmunized, partially immunized children and pregnant women. The fourth round of this mission would commence next month. In the first round of the activity, 1,07,542 children and 27,332 pregnant women were immunized whereas in the second round 1,80,466 children and 46,182 pregnant women and in the third round 1,32,795 children and 34,764 pregnant women have been vaccinated. It was also informed that 22 Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) have been proposed to be set up in the State out of which 20 SNCUs have been established in 20 districts hospitals whereas two such units are under process of establishment in Sub Divisional Hospital, Bahadurgarh and District Hospital Jhajjar. Apart from this, 66 New Born Stabilizing Units and 318 New Born Care Corners (NBCC) have been established in the districts at various health facilities.
Those present in the meeting included Health Minister Mr Anil Vij, Chief Secretary Mr D.S Dhesi, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Principal Secretary Dr Rakesh Gupta, Political Advisor to Chief Minister Mr Jagdish Chopra, Additional Chief Secretary Health Mr Ram Niwas, Additional Chief Secretary Development and Panchayat Mrs Navraj Sandhu, Principal Secretary Finance Mr P.K Das, Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Mr S.K Naryanan, OSD (Media) to Chief Minister Mr Amit Arya and other senior officers of various departments of the State Government.