Puducherry: The Puducherry Government has accepted the support of Vitamin Angels India to prevent malnutrition and child mortality in the Union Territory. Under this support, Vitamin Angels will extend technical assistance to frontline health workers in the form of ensuring an uninterrupted supply of Vitamin A and Albendazole in addition to the comprehensive training of frontline health workers on the implementation of nutritional programmes including, safe and effective delivery of Vitamin A and deworming to eligible children.
The NFHS-5 data highlights the progress made by Puducherry on key health indicators. In particular, the union territory has taken remarkable strides in ensuring better health outcomes for children under-five. The percentage of underweight children has reduced from 22 per cent to 15.3 per cent (NFHS-4 to NFHS-5). Similarly, progress has been made on wasting (23.6 per cent to 12.4 per cent) and stunting (23.7 per cent to 20 per cent). The child mortality rate has dropped from 16.2 per cent to 3.9 per cent. The data indicates that the union territory is on track to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The union territory government aims to reach all children under five across Mahe, Karaikal, Puducherry and Yanam districts with evidence-based nutrition interventions with the support provided by Vitamin Angels.
Speaking about the support offered by Vitamin Angels, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Puducherry, Shri. N. Rangasamy said, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, our frontline health workers displayed courage, determination and dedication in providing tremendous service to the public and saving valuable lives. Going forward, the lessons learnt from the pandemic need to be leveraged for other existing health-related priorities. Puducherry continues to improve on critical health and nutrition indicators, especially those associated with children. However, through further capacity building, we can bridge the remaining gaps ensuring every child has a healthy future. Through such support, our government would bring world-class expertise and strengthen our existing nutrition programmes to build a prosperous, healthier and happier Puducherry.”
Dr Pankaj Verma, Vice President, Vitamin Angels India said, “We are grateful to the Chief Minister and the Puducherry Government for allowing us to assist in accelerating the progress on nutritional indicators for children under five. At Vitamin Angels, we work closely with stakeholders and governments across the country to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development and eliminate malnutrition among children. Our focus in Puducherry would be towards capacity building of the frontline workers and facilitating procurement and delivery of Vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets to strengthen the nutrition programmes of the Government of Puducherry.”
In the last 12 years, Vitamin Angels India has supported various States and UTs to complement the governments’ efforts in improving nutritional service delivery, particularly ensuring last-mile access in hard-to-reach areas and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable groups. It has been working with the governments of Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur and Ladakh.