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Fwd: Over 61 Million Children 'Stunted' in India

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  • Thiagarajan Arunachalam
    From: *Narendra Ch* Over 61 Million Children Stunted in India Bangalore: More than 61 million stunted children are from India, findings by the United Nations
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 17, 2013
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      From: Narendra Ch

      Over 61 Million Children 'Stunted' in India
      Bangalore: More than 61 million stunted children are from India, findings by the United Nations Children’s Fund have revealed. These children remain weak both intellectually and physically for the rest of their lives, the reason for this being malnutrition. These children make up for over a quarter of those coming under five years of age and this will mean that the potentials of over a quarter of these five year old kids have gone for a waste, which is more than unfair, reported Shawn Pogatchnik for AP.

      According to UNICEF’s executive director, Anthony Lake, since 2010,  lack of clean water, vitamins and a better focus on breast feeding to these kids would have helped prevent this sad fate of these children. These children will in fact remain increasingly vulnerable to various illnesses and may even face an early death, he said.

      "Stunting is the least understood, least recognized and least acted upon crisis. It is a hidden crisis for these children," said Lake, as has been reported by the AP.

      These kids have been deprived from folic acid, iron and vitamin which are so vital at the time of their development in the womb. "Stunted doesn't mean simply short," Lake said. "The child's brain never properly develops. Irrevocably. That's it. You can't fix it later. You can fix being underweight. You can't fix being stunted after age 2."
      "What this means is, for the remainder of that child's life, irrevocably the child will learn less in school, will earn less later, is more vulnerable to disease," he said. "This is a tragic violation of that child's life, but it's also a tremendous strain on that society."

      It was at a global conference in Dublin that Lake had unveiled the findings of his report along with slides of these children’s nerve development, weaker cells and stunted brains.

      According to the findings in the U.N report, the highest number of stunted children had come from twenty four countries spread over South Asia and the sub Saharan Africa. In fact, more than a half of the children in places like Madagascar, Niger, Burundi and Timor-Leste under five years of age suffer a stunted growth.

      The largest number of stunted children was from India with a total population of over 61.7 million stunted children. This makes up for over forty eight percent of all five year old kids in the country.

      The civil war has also led to this problem growing in Syria with the widespread disruption to family life, schools and healthcare. Prior to the war, the percentage of stunted children across the country had come up to over a twenty eight percent.
      There are in fact an endless number of different spots in the world in need of attention, and various officials in the UNICEF have been in collaboration with these governments and local aid agencies. The U.N has been permitted to get education, vitamins and water distributed among expectant mothers in Syria.

      "I've never had any (country) push back," he said. "There's a natural reluctance among all governments to say: 'Yes we have a problem that we could have fixed quicker.' So you're always going to get a little bit of denial. But I've never heard of a country that said: 'No, we're not going to deal with it,'" as reported by AP.

      "People too often assume if you get enough food to eat, you're getting enough nutrition to head off malnutrition or stunting. The fact is you can eat lots of food and not get enough nutrients.” The fact that India which has been free from the shortage of food possesses the highest number of stunted children shows that ensuring the ideal growth for kids does not mean letting them eat a lot.

      Breast feeding is something that needs to be highly focused on, especially among mothers in the Third World. The first six months are of especial importance. Local dirty water has to be completely avoided since diarrhoea is one of the main factors responsible in creating stunted kids.

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