In 2016, multiple deaths of children due to malnutrition in Odisha's Jajpur district had shocked the entire nation. The State machinery had then swung into action with several schemes to fight it.
However, malnutrition among children in Odisha remains an unresolved health issue. A case in point is the recent identification of two malnourished kids at Gudikhania (ward no 8) area in Nilagiri of Balasore district.
As per reports, the kids along with their parents had come to the sub-collector's office to submit a memorandum related to some land issue when the sub-collector spotted them.
Suspecting the duo of being suffering from malnutrition, the officer ordered for Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC) counselling of the children only to find both the kids suffering from malnutrition.
The sub-collector then directed the sub-divisional medical officer (SDMO) to visit Gudikhania and conduct a detailed inspection.
"As per the direction of the sub-collector, I conducted a few tests and found the kids malnourished. I have convinced them to stay in the hospital for proper treatment," said Archana Nahak, nutritionist.
Surprisingly, Gudikhania is hardly 10 mts away from the Women and Child Development office in the area. Still, the officials concerned were allegedly unaware of the menace lurking in their backyard.
However, Nahak said, "We often pay visit to Gudikhania to inspect health condition of children. Several such children have been treated and discharged from here so far."
On the allegations, sub-collector Dipti Ranjan Sethi said, "I have come to know that there are several malnourished kids in the area. I have already directed the SDMO here to form a team and conduct inspection. And, admit all such children to the NRC."