Open defecation still a major menace in Madhya Pradesh

Open defecation and stunting are correlated subjects. The districts where open defecation is highly practiced, cases of stunting also found to be more. In total 78.8 million is the expenditure on toilet under ‘Total Sanitation Campaign ‘but around 63.4 per cent households are still practicing open defecation. Only around 33.7 per cent households are using improved sanitation facility. This information was given by Neha Raykar from Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

As per latest data from NHFS (National Family Health Survey )2015-16 in Madhya Pradesh, Sheopur district record highest number of stunted children ( more than 50 %) under five years and Balaghat record the lowest (around 30 %). Malnutrition cases in Bhopal is also coming to around 45 %.

The reasons for high rates of under nutrition and variation in progress in different regions are complex and interrelated. However its been observed that where open defecate rates are high stunting percentage have also shown upward inclination. As per data procured one in fifteen children in State is stunted. When it comes to underweight one in eleven children are underweight.

In Madhya Pradesh, around 42 % of children are stunted and is one of the top states in India where malnutrition deaths rates are high.

In another case on Monday Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) also intervened in one of the cases where death of malnourished tribal kid was reported from Jabalpur government hospital due to unnecessary delay witnessed in admitting the patient to nutritional rehabilitation centre. It has to be mentioned that in PESA (Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) districts cases of malnutrition is very high in State. It was also reported that water crisis coupled with unavailability of infrastructure are main reasons leading for open defecation especially among tribal population. These points were briefed in a discussion of malnutrition issues in Madhya Pradesh which was organised by PHFI in collaboration with Transform nutrition and Vikas Samvad organization,