ASIA/INDIA - First study on malnutrition: 42% of children in the poorest districts suffer from malnutrition

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - "HUNGaMA" (Hunger and malnutrition) is the name of the first study carried out after years concerning the problem of child malnutrition. According to the report just submitted by the country's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, half the children who live in the 100 poorest districts of India suffer from atrophy or malnutrition already at the age of two. The Minister noted that 42% of Indian children are malnourished and defined malnutrition a "national shame" for India. According to the latest 2009 data, provided by UNICEF, there are about 61 million malnourished children in the Asian country, one third of the global total. The current rates are alarming, 59% of children under 5 is suffering from atrophy. In addition, because of poor information campaigns, 92% of mothers had never heard of "malnutrition". In fact, fewer than half of nursing mothers, and almost none know what malnutrition is. The study was carried out by the foundation Naandi in 112 districts of India, interviewing 73 000 families. The Indian Prime Minister also said that his government has decided, among other things, to promote a multi-sectoral development program, a communication campaign against malnutrition and initiatives to ensure the welfare of children. The fight against the scourge of malnutrition in India began in 1975 with the opening of centers dedicated to promoting nutrition and food education for their young ones. However, the program goes on without obtaining the desired fruit. According to experts, the majority of Indian children have a diet based on a few and monotonous foods, mainly vegetables, apart from not being breast fed their mothers immediately introduce water as an element of the diet. Although it is a general problem that is concentrated in a few regions, particularly in the northern part of the country known by the acronym "BIMAROU" referring to Bihar-Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. In Hindi language, the word "Bimar" means sick, and these regions are generally at the top of the list as far as human development indicators are concerned. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 11/01/2012)