Hyderabad: The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) of the Country, which captured vital physical growth-parameters of children and adolescents aged from one year to 19 years across India, has indicated widespread prevalence of malnutrition, anaemia and micronutrient deficiency in Telangana State. The CNNS report, prepared by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and released in New Delhi a few days ago, has brought to the fore inherent gaps in the nutritional status of children in Telangana. The State finds itself saddled with large number of cases of stunting, underweight and anaemia and Vitamin A deficiency among children and adolescents.
Close to 29 per cent of the children below five years in Telangana have stunted growth while the national average is 34 per cent. In AP, the percentage of children below five years with stunted growth was 31.5 per cent while in Kerala it was 20 per cent, 19 per cent and in Tamil Nadu and 32 per cent in Karnataka.
Close to 33.4 per cent of children in India below the age of five are underweight, while in Telangana the percentage among the same age group of children is 30 per cent. The overall percentage of children with wasting was 17 per cent while in Telangana State, it was 18 per cent, the CNNS report said.
The CNNS survey has placed Telangana State in a group of other Indian States, which are struggling with moderate public health problem due to anaemia or low haemoglobin levels among children below five years of age group. The survey said that 20 per cent to 40 per cent of children below five years in Telangana State are moderately anaemic, which means haemoglobin levels of those children is between 7 grams per decilitre and 9.9 grams per decilitre. For children between 5 years and 9 years, the haemoglobin levels was between 8 grams per decilitre and 10.0 grams per decilitre.
The average percentage of iron deficiency among children below five years in India, according to CNNS report, was 32 per cent. The percentage of children of the same group with iron deficiency in Telangana is 33 per cent. For the age group between 5 years and 9 years, close to 22 per cent of children in TS have iron deficiency while overall the national average (for the same age group) was 17 per cent.
Vitamin A deficiency
Children below five years and between five years and 9 years in Telangana State have severe Vitamin A deficiency. The CNNS survey has said that more than 20 per cent of children in both the age group categories have Vitamin A deficiency.