Haveri: Karnataka has prepared a roadmap to tackle the possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that is likely to affect the children more.
As per its plans, the state government is going to strengthen its nutrition programmes to enhance the nutrition level of the children in the state, Women and Child Welfare Minister, Shashikala Jolle, said on Tuesday.
After reviewing the child nutrition programme here, Jolle told reporters that there are around 4.47 lakh malnourished children in the state and among these, 7,751 are severely malnourished.
“Currently our focus is to streamline and improve the ways to tackle malnourishment, as these programmes have been severely affected due to the prolonged lockdowns and severe restrictions on transport movement. We are trying to address these issues on a case by case basis,” she explained.
The minister added that malnutrition is a major public health emergency during the pandemic. “Malnutrition per se may not lead to death but in these pandemic times, we need to refocus and reenergise ourselves to tackle this issue, not only by focussing just on the 7,751 children who are severely malnourished, but also those 4.47 lakh children who are bordering on malnutrition level in the state,” Jolle said.
The minister added that the state government is committed to adopt all the children who have been orphaned by COVID-19.
“The state government will take care of all such children who have lost either or both their parents due to the pandemic. So far, the state has 43 such children,” she said.
Answering a question, the minister said that the state government has also taken steps to reserve beds exclusively for the treatment of children in all the hospitals across the state.
“In Haveri district itself, we have reserved 119 beds to treat the children in the wake of a possible third wave hitting the state, as experts have been predicting,” she said.