THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of first 1000's day initiative - which aims at promoting healthy nutrition in the first 1000s days of a child's life - the authorities are planning to provide free antenatal care and ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF) for pregnant and lactating women in the state.
The Directorate of Women and Child Development Department has identified 11 hard to reach areas for launching the phase I of the initiative. According to experts providing nutritious food aid for mothers and children in the 1,000 -day window would help shape a healthier, more prosperous future for children.
According to a survey, in Kerala, around 19.7 percent children under five years of age are stunted, while 15.7 percent children do not have the weight for height. 35.6 percent children in the state are anemic. The initiative is expected to fight malnutrition.
Medical camps would be organised three times a year to ensure adequate care for pregnant and lactating mothers which would benefit the health of the baby until he/she turn 2 years of age.
"Last year we tried to launch the project but there was only limited time for the implementation. We have given direction to organise camps at 11 project areas to identify the beneficiaries. Last year we could identify around 5000 and definitely there would be more," said an official.
Vellanadu, Ranni, Muthukulam, Devikulam, Erattupetta, Thalikulam, Nilambur, Attapadi, Mananthavadi, Iritty and Kasargode are hard to reach areas identified for the programme. The Directorate has sanctioned Rs 18 lakh for organising camps in these regions.
"Camps would help identify more beneficiaries and anganwadi workers are in charge. Free supplements, check-ups, ready to use therapeutic food would be provided for them. Therapeutic food is the main highlight of the programme. The recipe was developed by experts in the field and Kudumbashree units in the respective areas would be producing it. The powdered product could be used for preparing snacks or they could just mix it in the milk and have," said the official....