Last Mile of Delivery: Overlooked!

Midday_Meal_Scheme_children_at_primary_schoolThe moment I thought of writing a blog on the topic “Health of the World”, the first melancholic picture which came in my mind was of many poor and esurient children. So, I decided to write about the biggest threat to the world health i.e. Malnutrition. Many children all over the world are in the clutches of this deadly epidemic.  According to U.N. Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN), malnutrition affects more than 147 million preschoolers in developing countries and 70% of malnourished children live in Asia.

The whole world is focusing its attention towards eradicating malnutrition. There are number of new policies and programs coming up for curbing this issue especially in developing countries like India. So what is stopping us from reaching our Goal? Even if the government provides healthcare resources, the consumers are unable to utilize them in a desirable manner just because of the pit that exists between the givers and the receivers. An important and fresh example  is the large number of deaths that occurred in Bihar (India) in July, 2013 where 23 children died and 150 fell ill by consuming contaminated food in their mid day meals. Mid day meal program was started by Indian government and it is the World’s Largest School feeding program reaching out to about 120,000,000 children across the country. So why this program turned out to be deadly for innocent children instead of fulfilling their nutritional needs? Who is responsible for failure of such programs? Is it the policies regarding implementation which are defective or the people involved in implementing these policies? This tragedy further revealed the weak health system which was unable to treat the victims during such mass casualty.  So, the need of the hour is to find the loopholes that exist at multiple levels, especially at the last mile of delivery, and design healthcare policies to address these loopholes in an efficient manner.

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