A mother’s knowledge and awareness have always been considered crucial elements in a child’s upbringing. From teaching life skills to imparting wisdom, mothers play a pivotal role in their children’s lives.
But have we ever wondered if a mother’s knowledge also has a direct impact on a child’s health? Recent research suggests that indeed it does and the implications are profound.
Children whose mothers are more knowledgeable about health care and nutrition are less likely to suffer from malnutrition.
There has been a significant increase in the number of malnourished children in India between the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 (2015-16) and the fifth round (2019-2020), according to the data the rate of stunting in children under the age of five has increased in four North East states – Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
Stunting, or being short for their age, is a known risk factor for children’s delayed development and mothers’ lack of nutritional awareness and education has been highlighted as one of the key causes of child malnutrition.
As a considerable percentage of children in Meghalaya suffer from stunting and the number is likely to rise if prompt action is not taken.
The State government and Non-Governmental Organisations have implemented several ground-level nutritional awareness campaigns to spread awareness about holistic nutrition.
However, its effectiveness is strongly reliant on mothers’ active participation and comprehension of nutrition.
Thus, as the State commemorates the sixth Rashtriya Poshan Maah throughout this month, it should also serve as a reminder of the critical role of nutrition education in enhancing mothers’ knowledge. This, in turn, enables us to take a comprehensive life-cycle approach to combat malnutrition effectively.