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Multi-Sector Approaches To Improving Child Health

An old adage is that 'it takes a village to raise a child' and the same holds true today albeit a little differently

Improving child health is not rocket science, but does need concerted and sustained efforts, where all of us are stakeholders! India has demonstrated significant political will and government action to transform its food and nutrition landscape. The country has implemented robust safety net programs, and taken various steps to improve child health through multi-sectoral approaches, although challenges do occur sometimes due to the sheer complexity and scale of the population.

In healthcare, our country has witnessed notable improvements in maternal and child health. There is enhanced access to essential healthcare services which has led to a decline in maternal mortality rates and improved healthcare accessibility, particularly in underserved regions. In improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, exemplified by initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Mission, we see significant reductions in waterborne diseases and improved hygiene practices.

Looking at nutrition, India's dedication to combating malnutrition has been exemplified by programs like PM Poshan, and ICDS schemes where efforts have resulted in tangible progress, with reduced rates of stunting and underweight children. By prioritizing child nutrition, India is nurturing healthier generations poised for success. The integration of health and nutrition education into school curricula, coupled with initiatives like breakfast and lunch in schools, has not only boosted school enrollment but also improved nutrition among students. By investing in the health and education of its children, India is laying the foundation for a prosperous future.

We also support vulnerable populations through social protection programs like the National Food Security Act, and PMMVY has provided critical support to pregnant women and children. By ensuring access to essential resources and services, India is fostering an environment where every child has the opportunity to thrive. Engagement in public-private partnerships has unlocked innovative solutions and catalysed progress in healthcare delivery, nutrition education, and food production. By leveraging the strengths of both sectors, India is driving positive change and building a healthier, more resilient society.

Improving child health from different angles is complex, but a lot of good people are building strong, practical solutions too. Addressing any remaining challenges will require sustained political commitment, increased investment, and greater coordination and collaboration across departments and sectors to ensure that all children in India have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. We are seeing this deep sense of commitment at different levels and remain optimistic that, together, we can improve child health very significantly.


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Multi-Sector Approaches Improving Child Health

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