In Rajasthan, rewards for spotting malnourished kids

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 13, 2013 07:17 hrs

Jaipur: Helping to identify and then get medical facilities to children suffering from malnutrition will win health workers in Baran district of Rajasthan additional monetary benefits.

The district administration of Baran, some 250 km from Jaipur, announced that it would give Rs.100 to a government health worker who helps detect a malnourished child and brings him or her to the special centres of the government meant to deal with the problem in rural areas.

The Rs.100 reward would also be given to auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANM) and other health workers active in rural areas, including Anganwadi activists and Asha sahyoginis, a senior district administration official told IANS.

Rough estimates show that more than a third of Rajasthan's children three-years-old or less are underweight and almost 80 percent are anaemic.

Malnutrition is one of the major causes of morbidity in young children in the state.

"The state government has opened these centres in tribal areas here. A lot of children in tribal areas like Kishanganj and Shahabad are suffering from malnutrition and the parents are not even aware of the serious health hazard," the official said, adding that the parents of such children already receive several benefits from the government.

"The medical and health department in the district gives away Rs.135 every day for 10 consecutive days to the parent of a child who is admitted in a centre meant for malnourished children," the official added.

"Weakness and anaemia are some serious health problems that children in the region suffer from. Despite the state government's efforts, parents of these children don't want to send them to these centres for 10 days. To encourage the health workers who are active in this region, we have decided to given them an amount of Rs.100 for detecting a malnourished child and then getting him or her admitted to the health centre," the official said.

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