Nagada malnutrition deaths: Central team satisfied with State’s response

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Bhubaneswar: The Central fact-finding team which visited the tribal dominated Nagada village in Jajpur district on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the initiatives taken by the State government after death of 19 infants in the village due to malnutrition.

After reaching the nondescript village on the hilltop, the five-member team interacted with the residents and enquired about their lifestyle.

“First of all, the State government has responded positively towards the problem in the region, which is clearly visible. There are some problems which are perennial to the whole country and some problems are acute. So I don’t think there will be a solution for everything in one capsule,” Arun Singh, a member of the team, said.

Suggesting that long-term development plans are needed for the social upliftment of the people of this backward region, he said some perennial problems must be taken care of.

“Again I say, there are some problems which are pan-Indian. I think the more acute problem which had cropped up will be contained and discussed to sort it out,” he hoped.

During the visit, the officials spoke to the family members and relatives of the victims of malnutrition.

According to media reports 19 children, all in the age group of 0-5, have lost their lives due to malnutrition in the past three months. Besides, more than 40 children of the same age group have developed blister-like rashes on their bodies.

Officials of Odisha government accompanying the Central team to the village maintained that the situation is improving.

“We are stressing on permanent health camps and anganwadis. Basically long term engagement and long term mobilisation are our strategy … The permanent facilities will soon be here and I’m sure there will be a lot of change in the area,” commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Commission (BMC) Vishal Dev, one of the officials accompanying the Central team, said.

Reports said the State government has provided solar lamps and water filters to each tribal family of the region after Nagada hogged the headlines for all wrong reasons.

The Central team is scheduled to meet officials of Odisha government tomorrow.

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