Gujarat Chief Minister Refutes UNICEF Malnutrition Data, Says Situation ‘Strikingly Improved’

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has refuted UNICEF data which says that over 33 per cent children in the state were underweight. She said the data is based on the figures of 2004-2005 and the situation has “strikingly improved” since then.

According to an official release, during her speech at Vaso taluka in Kheda district, Ms Patel had said that figures quoted about malnutrition in Gujarat is of 2004-05 vintage.

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“In reality, there has been a sharp decline of almost 25 per cent in malutrition rate in the last five years,” the release quoted Ms Patel.

As per media reports, Gujarat ranks 21 out of a total 29 states surveyed by the Women and Child Development Ministry along with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to find out the health and well-being of children in India.

Though the Centre is yet to make the report public, it has been claimed that states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh scored better then Gujarat in implementing child immunisation schemes.

According to media reports, the survey claimed that 33.5 per cent of children in Gujarat are underweight, which is more than the national average of 29 per cent

During her speech, the Gujarat CM rejected these findings by claiming that these figures are old and also requested prominent citizens to come forward in order to eradicate malutrition from the state by adopting state-run child care centres, the release stated.