“Mother’s education and family income play vital role in reducing child stunting” | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Childhood stunting (stopped growth or low height for age) remains a major concern in the growth and development of children. Although there are multiple reasons for stunting in children, the education and income of the mother along with the development of the marginalized sections of the society play a vital role in reducing this problem in India and Odisha.
The experts said this while attending a one-day workshop on “stunting and intestinal dysfunction” organized by AIPH University, a public health university, here on Sunday. The objective of the workshop was to find ways to combat this scourge of the modern era by designing research and implementation strategies.
According to the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the stunting rate among children in India is 35.5%, while in Odisha it stands at 31%. Experts said stunting has lifelong consequences on cognition and human capital.
Pradeep K Panda, Dean of School of Public Health at AIPH University, said mother’s education is very important in tackling stunting in children. “If we analyze the NFHS-5 data, we can see that the percentage of stunting is 42% among children born to illiterate mothers, while the percentage is 27% among children born to mothers with 12 years of age. education,” he added.
Similarly, the percentage of stunted growth is about 41% among children from low-income families. But this percentage is 23 to 24% among children with good incomes. “This means that income also plays a role, as does the education of the mother. Another thing is stunting in tribal children. We have to solve their problems to help the tribal children,” he added.
Arakhita Swain, professor of pediatrics at IMS and SUM Hospital, said stunted children get sick more often, complete fewer studies and grow up to be economically disadvantaged. “Stunting is a multifactorial disease. It begins before childbirth until the age of two. Not only nutrition, but several factors are also responsible for stunting. Also, we need to focus on probiotic foods to improve children’s gut health instead of frequently giving antibiotics,” he added.
Arjit Mohapatra, another public health expert from AIPH University, said interventions targeting macro and micro nutrition, sanitation and maternal health education resulted in a marginal decline in birth delay rates. growth, indicating a much more complex nature of this condition which cannot be treated. through serious and nuanced approaches based on scientific evidence.


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Julio V. Miller