A Review of Government Programmes for Women and Children in India: Implications for Nutrition During the Thousand Day Period
1000 days is the period from conception until a child is 2 years of age
The current Maternal and Child Health Nutrition (MCHN) statistics from India reflect poorly on the existing Government schemes. Experts recognise conception to age 2 years (the first 1000 days) as a critical window of opportunity for influencing the poor MCHN status. A clear identification and critical assessment of government programmes which may impact the 1000 day period can help identify the strength, weakness, opportunity and threats in these interventions, which in turn can inform future offerings.
The objective of the study was to review the nutrition related Government interventions which directly affect the 1000 day period. A review of all Government programmes and policies in the area of MCHN was undertaken using multiple strategies namely internet search, direct communication with experts, library visits, analyzing Government documents and reports. The results indicated that out of the 33 MCHN interventions, 6 conformed to the direct nutrition interventions which may impact the 1000 day period. Detailed Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats analysis of these interventions has shown scope of improvement and areas of learning. The Indian Government has introduced a good leverage of interventions that impact the 1000 day period. However the nutrition component needs to be strengthened with interventions focussing on health care needs, immunisation, cash transfer etc. The recognition of the importance of nutrition was only in terms of provision for proper food with no focus on macro and micro nutrient content. This is an area which needs to be strengthened in the interventions.
Shweta Khandelwal, Radhika Dayal, Surbhi Bhalla, Tanusree Paul. Government Programmes for Women and Children in India:Implications for Nutrition During the Thousand Day Period The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics (2014)
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