Jaipur: In a webinar on “Tackling the food crisis in India during Covid-19, especially for women and children in India,” several experts expressed concern on Wednesday about the negative effects of the pandemic, which is affecting millions of children and women due to inadequate reception of high quality foods and micronutrients.
On this occasion, Sudhir Bhandari, Rector of SMS Medical College, Jaipur said: “India initially faced physical challenges during Covid-19. However, over time we have come to realize how diet affects many people’s lives. Around 9.3 million children would be affected by 2022, 20-25 percent of whom could suffer from stunted growth.
“Children with malnutrition are more likely to experience pandemic complications as it can lead to more illness and mortality from Covid-19 and other infectious and inflammatory diseases, including pneumonia.”
“In countries with waves 1 and 2 of Covid-19, obesity and non-communicable diseases have been linked to the more serious consequences of the virus. Covid-19 has serious effects on the nutritional status of mothers and young children. We need to strengthen food security and the functioning of the food supply chain for the population. “
Bhandari added that almost 58 million children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months had not developed the correct eating habits last year.
DK Mangal, advisor to the SD Gupta School of Public Health at IIHMR University, said: “India carries a disproportionate burden of malnutrition. The response to the pandemic has disrupted routine nutrition programs such as the ICDS and the Mid-Day Meal Program. This has had a negative impact on the nutritional status of millions of children and women. “
The webinar was organized by the NGO Saksham Sanchar.