The Union Minister of Women and Child Development , Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi held a meeting with Ms Melinda Gates , co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in New Delhi today.The discussions centred arounda potential partnership to address India’s burden of maternal and childhood malnutrition, among other shared priorities.
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi spoke about the plans to launch the National Nutrition Mission in the coming weeks by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Minister explained, “We recognize that we need to take the problem of malnutrition in a Mission mode with a physical target-driven approach for progressively eliminating the problem. In the new Mission, we will attempt reaching out to every malnutritioned child with coordinated and targeted delivery of health and supplementary nutrition services. There will be extensive use of technology to re-equip the Aanganwadi workers, build the capacity of the workers and monitor the progress on a real-time basis. I welcome the willingness of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to partner with us, in order to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life.”
Ms. Gates applauded the efforts of the Minister for making nutrition a priority and assured full support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She stated that the foundation will support WCD Ministry and design the ICT solution for the real-time monitoring of nutritional services that will be extended under the Nutrition mission. She further stated that the foundation will also assist in training of master trainers, who will in-turn train the Anganwadi workers.
“I am happy to see that the Government of India has recognized the need for a renewed focus on maternal and child malnutrition. I believe that every child deserves the chance to live a healthy and productive life, and nutrition plays a critical role in their physical and cognitive development. I look forward to the launch of the National Nutrition Mission and to cementing our partnership with the Ministry in the immediate future”, said Melinda Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Both sides also discussed at length about the work needed on health and development issues which are adversely affecting Indian women and girls . Senior officials of the Ministry were also present during the meeting.
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