Setbacks to eradicate child malnutrition in India due to COVID-19 lockdown

Drs. S V Subramanian, Professor of Population Health and Geography, and Joe William were recently interviewed by Down To Earth’s Kundan Pandey in “‘Passionate strategy needed to mitigate malnutrition due to lockdown’”. India has one of the highest number of malnourished children in the world. The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated efforts to improve nutrition.

“The lockdown may have led to the sudden halt in all public health and nutrition interventions such as mid-day school meals or hot cooked meals at anganwadi [rural childcare] centers and other supplementary nutrition programs,” says Drs. Subramanian and William when asked if the lockdown has made malnourished children more vulnerable.

“Clearly, children from those households, who barely survive at subsistence level even in normal days, will suffer an adverse impact on their usual dietary intake and therefore body weight. Services are being resumed but it may take a while to reattain the pre-lockdown levels.”

Read the full interview.