Effectiveness of centralized mid day meal programme on the nutritional status of children of Ekalbara Village, Rural Vadodara

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Author: 
Rujuta Giri, Vanisha Nambiar and Khushoo Joshi
Abstract: 

Background: Akshay Patra served mid day meal is implemented in both urban and rural Vadodara since November, 2009 to improve the acceptability of the programme as well as its health and nutritional impact.
Aim: To conduct a situational analysis of MDM served through Akshay Patra and its impact on the nutritional status of children in rural area of Vadodara district.
Methodology: Using a cross sectional study design, two primary schools were selected from the Padra Taluka of rural Vadodara district, Gujarat. Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies were used to collect data on the quality of MDM implementation, teachers and students perceptions as well as nutritional status of the students using anthropometric measurements and blood estimations.
Result: Infrastructural facilities such as serving area, water facility and cleanliness were observed; fixed weekly menu was served regularly and the serving frequency varied as per the demand. Nearly 80% of the students were undernourished; 58% suffered from mild anemia and Hs-CRP values were moderately high indicating prevalence of infections.
Conclusion: Thus poor nutritional status and increased prevalence of infection emphasizes the need to integrate approaches such as school health program (IFA, de-worming and calcium), nutrition health education, sanitation and hygiene, clean school premises, safe drinking water and toilet facilities in school as well as at home.

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