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People sensitised on importance of safe and healthy food habits

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Jan 24 - A State Level Nutrition Mela was held at Pragjyoti-ITA Centre for Performing Arts, Machkhowa, on Friday with the objective of showcasing the work being done by women’s federations, CSOs/NGOs and stakeholder government departments in the area of food and nutrition security and to sensitise people on the importance of nutritious food.

 

The Mela, inaugurated by Dr JB Ekka, Principal Secretary, Panchayat and Rural Development Department, Govt of Assam, was organised by the Voluntary Health Association of India in collaboration with the Civic Engagement Alliance and the ICCO (Innovative Change Collaborative) under the project ‘Realising the Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition.’

 

The project is being implemented in six districts of Assam – Goalpara, Dhubri, Sonitpur, Morigaon, Darrang and Udalguri. It aims at supporting and strengthening the government initiatives for combating malnutrition at the State level.

 

The Nutrition Mela emphasised the message that healthy and nutritious food is crucial to combating malnutrition, especially if the focus was on pregnant/lactating mothers and children up to the age of five years and to showcase the way in which stakeholder departments had supported the women’s federations in their work on food and nutrition security in Assam.

 

“The Mela was organised in an exhibition format, with food stalls showcasing organic food, healthy food variants and promoting local and regional cuisines. Health camps and stalls with doctors and nutritionists conducting simple health parameter tests and information stalls with short films, digital posters, brochures and flyers would motivate people to be mindful and adopt safe and nutritious food habits,” a VHAI office-bearer said.

 

Stalls and display units along with mobile exhibition units were put up by the Food and Nutrition Board, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), State Commissionerate for Food Safety, Dairy Development Directorate, National Iodine Deficiency Disorder Control Programme (NIDDCP), National Health Mission, Kamrup Metro, Poshan Abhiyan, Dept of Horticulture, and women’s federations from Morigaon, Goalpara, Dhubri, Sonitpur, Darrang and Udalguri.

 

A screening camp was also organised for screening of lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes and hypertension jointly by VHAI and Lal Pathlabs Foundation.

 

A tool kit developed by VHAI, which will be very useful for resource health workers, NGOs and CSOs as a useful information resource for their work in the area of food and nutrition security, was also released on the occasion by Dr Ekka.

 

A panel discussion on ‘Nutrition Security in Assam: Issues, Challenges and Solutions’ was another highlight of the day. The discussion was chaired by Dr Bandana Bhuyan, former Regional Director, NIPCCD, and Guwahati.

 

Source: The Assam Tribune, Guwahati, Saturday, January 25, 2020