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Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)
Integrated Child Development Scheme was launched in 1975 with the main assumption that a package of multiple services is more effective than providing these facilities one at a time. Initially ICDS was extended to a small population. Today the expansion of ICDS projects has increased considerably.
Improvement of health and nutritional status of children of 0-6 years of age.
Laying foundation for psychological, social and physical development of the child.
Reduction in the incidence of malnutrition, morbidity, mortality and school drop out rates among children.
Effective coordination of the policy and implementation among different departments in order to promote ICDS.
Enhancing capabilities of mothers to look after normal health and nutritional needs of the children.
Integrated Child Development Scheme targets at reaching out the package facilities to the following age-groups:
Children 0-6 years of age
Adolescent girls between 11-18 years.
Women between 15-45 years of age.
All pregnant and lactating women.
It includes :
Health check ups and Referral Services,
Nutrition and Health Education,
The scheme has successfully reached almost 40% of the deprived children. Double amounts of supplements are given to children below 50-60% of the lowered nutritional standards. ICDS provides nutritional supplements through the schools/and primary health centres. Have you heard of mid-day meals? It is one venue for providing children with cheap yet nourishing protein and carbohydrate supplements. Roasted channa and milk powder are the usual food supplements.
All children should be immunized within the first year against the six killer diseases of early childhood. Can you name these diseases studied in the earlier chapters?
The facilities of health check ups and referral services are provided in the Government hospitals and municipal dispensaries. Prenatal and postnatal facilities are provided to mothers and new born babies. The rural as well as the tribal areas are also provided with these medical facilities on regular basis. The medical facilities are fully funded under the Government's five year plans except for the cost of supplements which is borne by the states.
The mother in the productive years of life are made aware of the importance of spacing, and restricting the size of the family. The relationship between maternal status and healthy child is highlighted. Mothers with poor maternal status and low weight gain during pregnancy period give birth to children weighing less than 2.5 kgs. (normal weight at birth for Indian children). Such children remain shorter and lighter than their counterparts. They often rate low in their performance throughout life.
ICDS contributes not only to the achievements of women and child goals related to health, nutrition and early child development but also to other primary health care goals and the goals of universal elementary education, as enunciated in the National Plan of Action for children 1992.
ICDS facilities are provided to the rural population through Anganwadis. All possible efforts are being made to impart formal as well as informal health and nutrition education. Radio, TV and movies carry these massages to a large section of the population living in urban as well as rural areas.
The location of the centers to be easily reached from all sides.
Safe, clean and spacious environment. Both covered and open space for indoor and outdoor activities.
The amount of space should be adequate in relation to the number of children to move about freely at 1.5 square meter per child. A minimum area of two square meter of play space per child is desirable.
The building should be strong and sturdy, bright and attractively painted, with good lighting and adequate ventilation.
Potable water supply and proper drainage is a must.
Toilets should be well maintained and free from contamination.
Proper storage is necessary to prevent pilferage, infestation and maintain quality of food.
Good menu planning and cooking is essential to provide good nutrition to the children.
Food service is equally important to make the children eat well and enjoy meal time. This also includes the place, furniture and how food is served.
Food safety and sanitation is important to protect the health and safety of children.
Play materials must facilitate the all round development of children.
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