What is Poshan Maah? India to highlight Ayush-based nutrition solutions in September 2020

Mother and Baby

[Representational image] | Picture credit: Creative Commons

Nutrition solutions based on traditional healthcare wisdom will be an integral part of the Poshan Maah celebration during September 2020, said the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) in a statement on Thursday, September 10.

This will further accelerate various activities under Poshan Abhiyaan, while adhering to Covid-19 protocols, the ministry added.

It explained that the Poshan Abhiyaan —the nutrition initiative — has a special focus on reducing the level of stunting, under-nutrition and low birth weight in children. It also focuses on anaemia in adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children.

The celebrations are part of the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (Poshan). The scheme falls under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

What is Poshan Maah?

Poshan Maah roughly translates to Nutrition Month. It is a month-long observance by India to eradicate malnutrition in the country.

The move is part of the country’s National Nutrition Mission. It has been observed in the month of September since 2018.

One important part of Poshan Abhiyaan is the “early identification of children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM),” the ministry said in its statement.

“This early identification is important for timely initiation of treatment and minimising the risk of complications,” it added.

“Therefore, during Rashtriya Poshan Maah this year, a drive for identification and treatment of children with SAM will be undertaken,” it said.

Image tweeted by: Food Fortification Resource Centre

Ensuring proper nutrition

The ministry said it would rope in experts from indigenous systems of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. They would then help to “provide guidance on good nutrition, complementary feeding etc.”

The ministry will initiate and coordinate special measures for this through the network of its autonomous bodies. It will tap stakeholders like Ayush educational institutions as well.

It will also customise its ongoing awareness campaign during the month by focusing on the theme Ahara, which may translate to feeding or diet.

The ministry will also reach out to the public with targeted messages on the topic.

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