Skip to main content

Competing with Pakistan? India's 38% infants stunted, one of the highest: UNESCO

By Our Representative
A recent UNESCO report has noted that, despite “encouraging declines in stunting” among infants across the world under the age of five, the global reductions cannot “mask the reality that, in many countries, huge proportions of children still suffer from stunting”.
Thus, the report says, stunting – a term used to identify impaired growth and development that children experience due to poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation – is one of the highest in the world in India, and comparable with that of Pakistan, 38%.
Released in October this year, the report, titled “The State of the World’s Children 2019”, which seeks to make international comparisons, points out that these statistics paint “only a partial picture”, because “within countries, there can be major differences between regions.” Thus, it says, “In India almost half of children are stunted in the worst-affected state compared with a fifth in the least-affected state.”
The problem, suggests the report, does not end here. A comparison between the 20% richest and 20% poorest children shows a huge gap in stunting both in India and Pakistan. Thus, as against the average of 38%, as many as 51% of the poorest 20% and 22% of the richest 20% children of the pre-school age suffer from stunting in India. The situation is as bad in Pakistan (average 38%) is no better – with 56% and 22% respectively.
Ironically, the situation is much better among other Indian neighbours – thus, in Bangladesh, where on an average 36% suffer from stunting, the percentage among the poor is 49%, while it is 20% among the rich children. The respective percentage for China is 8% in all three categories; it is 36%, 48% and 18% in Nepal; 29%, 38% and 16% in Myanmar; and 17%, 25% and 12% in Sri Lanka.
51% of the poorest 20% and 22% of the richest 20% children of the pre-school age suffer from stunting in India
Even as stating that the annual number of under–5 deaths in India in 2018 was 882,000, highest in the world, the report says, this would mean a rate of 37 deaths per 1,000 live births, which is lower than only two countries of South Asia, Pakistan and Myanmar.
Thus, the under–5 mortality rate is 30 in Bangladesh, 32 in Nepal, and just seven in Sri Lanka and nine in China. India’s under-5 mortality is worse than that of Iraq (27 per 1,000 live births), Syria (17), and Rwanda (35). Pakistan’s under-5 mortality rate is 69, while it is 46 in Myanmar.
According to the report, such situation is there in India, even though, “national and state governments implemented a multi-pronged strategy to support breastfeeding, including large-scale programmes, effective capacity-building initiatives, strong partnerships, community-based action, and communications campaigns.”

Comments

TRENDING

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.