Navigation Links
Madhya Pradesh Has India's Most Malnourished Kids

If you ask about her child, Sita Devi's eyes well up with tears. A few months ago, her eight-month-old kid died in her arms. Although she managed to take her daughter from her impoverished Sagmal village //to the Barwani District Hospital, it was too late.

'Still we tried our best,' said a senior doctor in the hospital, adding it was a case of severe malnutrition. 'But the child had stopped responding to medicines.'

Thousands of children in Barwani's tribal villages and adjoining districts face similar fate. Grinding poverty, illiteracy and lack of awareness, besides the failure of public health-care system, are making the situation worse, reports Grassroots Features.

The government and other agencies have launched many programmes. However, tribal areas remain largely untouched. The much-hyped Bal Sanjeevni Abhiyan scheme launched in the state has, many say, failed to ensure nutritional security to tribal children.

In August 2006, two-year-old Jyoti Naval Singh died in the district hospital due to acute malnutrition. Her illiterate parents fed the ailing infant a 'sugar solution' they thought would cure her. When her condition deteriorated, on the advice of a NGO they took her to the hospital.

Madhya Pradesh has the largest number of malnourished children in the country, with 80,000 cases of severe malnutrition. The mortality rate is 87 per 1,000 live births, very high compared to the south Indian states. Over 55 percent of the children are born under weight.

According to the women and child welfare department, 1,026 cases of malnutrition were reported from various blocks in Barwani, from January to October 2006. In 2005 the figure was 1,652. Sendhwa and Thikri blocks are worst affected with 266 and 227 cases respectively.

Of these only a few get medical attention.

'Hundreds of deaths due to malnutrition go unreported,' said Val Singh, a tribal activist. Symptoms inc lude tuberculosis, diarrhea and vomiting. 'Therefore, many a time doctors say the cause of death is something else, not malnutrition.'

Although medical facilities are often available at block levels, they remain out of reach for illiterate tribals. In some hospitals there are unused facilities due to insufficient staff.

For instance, in Patti block hospital there is no one to operate an X-ray machine. Patients have to depend on private clinics in Barwani town for tests.

A survey conducted by a NGO found about 75 percent of pregnant women anaemic in tribal areas. It also revealed expenses on health a major cause of tribal indebtedness.

A tribal family in Bokarata sold their one-acre plot for a paltry Rs.5,000 to treat their child with a defective kidney. But that still could not save the child.

Grinding poverty and ineffective, 'costly' public healthcare are forcing tribals into cheaper 'options' like black magic and traditional cures. Superstition also contributes.

'If you want medical attention, you should bribe the doctor,' declared Madhuri Ben, leader of the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan. 'Medicines meant for free distribution are taken away and sold by doctors in their private practice.'

Talking about the failure of public health-care, Madhuri recounted the recent experience of a critically ill child taken too late to a government hospital.

Doctors scolded her parents saying: "These tribals are so stupid. Is this the time to bring the child?"

Of course the child died. 'But the real reason for the delay was the parents did not have enough money to bribe the doctors,' she added. 'They had worked two days to mobilise the required amount.'

There are many dimensions to malnutrition. Lack of development and access to medical facilities also cause malnutrition deaths. In many villages beyond Bokarata there are no roads. The only mode of trans portation is donkey.

Patients, including pregnant women, are carried on stretchers for five or six kilometres to reach the nearest motorable road. Then they have to wait for hours for a bus to the nearest hospital 15 kilometres away.

Experts say hunger causes more than 50 per cent of the deaths of infants below four in Barwani. The Women and Child Development Department has tried to provide 'daliya' (porridge) and 'panjiri' (bulgar) to children up to the age of six.

But it has failed in rural areas. The government is running the mid-day meal scheme for primary school kids, but hundreds of schools are closed due to absence of teachers.

Fertility is also very high in tribal areas. Many tribals procreate more because they do not know how many kids will survive. 'I have one son and three daughters' admitted Amar Singh Wascala. 'But I need one more son to look after me in old age.'


Related medicine news :

1. Madhya Pradesh Cops to attend Yoga classes to reduce stress and weight
2. Madhya Pradesh: Blood Transfusion Infects 136 Individuals With HIV
3. Bird Flu Fear Grips Madhya Pradesh
4. Bird Flu Raises Its Ugly Head in Jalgaon and Madhya Pradesh
5. Bird Flu Sample Tests Positive In Madhya Pradesh
6. Bird Flu Spreading Towards Madhya Pradesh
7. Sati Raises its Ugly Head in Madhya Pradesh
8. More Culling in Madhya Pradesh Due to Bird Flu Fears
9. Anthrax Kills 50 Cattle in Madhya Pradesh
10. Madhya Pradesh Shows Indifferent Attitude Towards Infant Mortality
11. Madhya Pradesh To Concentrate On Better Rural Hygiene
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin ... companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and ... This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... date financial data derived from varied research sources to present ... impact on the market during the next five years, including ... sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: