Malnutrition Menace Lurks In Backyard Of Smart City Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Malnutrition deaths in Nagada area of Jajpur district made national headlines triggering public outrage a few years back. However, it is shocking to see that the evil of malnutrition still exists in the very backyard of the state capital and Smart City Bhubaneswar.

Barigodi, a village situated on the outskirts of Smart City Bhubaneswar is so close yet so far away from development. Munni, a five year old girl child of the village surprisingly weighs only 8 kg but her name does not figure in the list of severe acute malnutrition which has denied her adequate treatment and quality food. Same is the condition of Punda Hansdah and Suresh Bansi.

Asked about it, Jadumani Hembram, Munni’s father said, “I feel sorry because my daughter lost her mother when she was just 7 months old. When she developed some symptoms, I admitted her to Capital hospital and was told that she would be provided with necessary treatment and compensation but the promises are yet to be fulfilled.”

In the nearby Barapita village, the scars of malnutrition are also quite evident. There are many children in the village who have unusually larger heads and protruding bellies in comparison to their skeletal framework indicating undernourishment.

At a time when the State government is boasting of plethora of schemes for eradicating hunger and malnutrition, an OTV reality check on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar has revealed this shocking situation. A report by a team of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram which carried out a health inspection drive in the area also substantiates it.

According to information, in last 6 months, as many as 982 children have been diagnosed with symptoms of Malnutrition in Khurda district alone but it is suspected that the figures could be even more as the identification procedure is stated to be flawed.

Khurda CDMO, Bijay Kumar Mohapatra said “Identification of such children is a continuous process and so it will continue and gradually malnutrition will be curbed.”