Poorest of poor and uneducated women left behind in ICDS
New Delhi: Anganwadi services have a poor reach among key beneficiaries – the poorest of the poor and uneducated mothers – according to a paper published in a WHO bulletin recently.
The government’s Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) provides a package of six services at anganwadi or child-care centres to young children and pregnant women and lactating mothers. These services include supplementary nutrition, referral services, immunisation, health check-up, pre-school non-formal education and health and nutrition education.
The study analyses the findings of the National Family Health Survey 2005-2006 and 2015-2016 to compare the coverage of ICDS over a 10-year period.
During this time, the average respondents benefiting from these services increased from 9.6% to 37.9% for supplementary food, 3.2% to 21% for health and nutrition education, 4.5% to 28% for health check-ups and 10.4% to 24.2% for child-specific services over a period of 10 years.
At the same time, the poorest of the poor or quintile 1, who were the largest beneficiaries in 2006, got left behind quintile 2 and quintile 3 by 2016 for all four indicators such as supplementary food, counselling on nutrition, health check-ups and early childhood services, shows the study authored by Suman Chakrabarti, Kalyani Raghunathan, Harold Alderman, Purnima Menon and Phuong Nguyen.
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