Children in Telangana

Stunting and wasting along with low breastfeeding practices; the state must devise a multi-dimensional plan to combat the problems.

Children's in outdoor fun activity at Anganwadi Center, Chinna Kanjarla Village, Mandal - Patancheru, District Sangareddy, Telangana.
UNICEF/UN0120467

The challenge

The north-western portion of Andhra Pradesh was separated to form the new state of Telangana on 2 June 2014, and Hyderabad remains the acting capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states for a period of ten years. Telangana region consists mostly of hills, mountain ranges, and thick dense forests covering an area.  

This newest state faces a plethora of challenges. With inequities in provision of healthcare in tribal and urban areas and high C-section rates the state must improve the quality of care provided.       

Stunting and wasting along with low breastfeeding practices; the state must devise a multi-dimensional plan to combat the problems. Telangana is also battling ‘triple nutrition’ burden scenario: under nutrition, over nutrition/ obesity and anaemia affect women.

With low access to quality early childhood education and poor learning levels of both boys and girls, the state faces a big challenge in providing quality education for children. Support is also needed in implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE).

Telangana is the only state in the south which is yet to declare as Open Defecation-free (ODF). Sustaining the ODF status in few districts is a huge challenge. The state also faces drinking water problems along with low maintenance and functionality of WASH facilities in schools, anganwadi centers and health centers.

Child labour, school safety and absence of statutory and non-statutory structures in the newly created districts of Telangana pose a serious threat in protecting children.  

Advancing children’s rights and well-being

To provide a learning environment where girls and boys have equal access to and take advantage of quality education services.

UNICEF is the lead development partner in the implementation of the government’s flagship programme on health, the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health strategy in two high priority districts: Adilabad and Mahbubnagar. Besides, support is given to the state to reduce stunting (short height for age) and undernutrition among children by promoting appropriate infant and young child feeding practices, treatment and management of severe acute malnutrition.

UNICEF’s work on education seeks to provide a learning environment where girls and boys have equal access to and take advantage of quality education services. It focuses on increasing hygiene awareness, supporting the state in its efforts to eliminate open defecation and ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water. Further also works to ensure strict enforcement of laws to protect children from hazardous labour, child marriage, trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

UNICEF supports the government in improving the quality of both maternal and newborn care by standardising the labour rooms and setting up state-of-the art Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) in government hospitals. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMCs) were also scaled up across the state.

UNICEF supports the state in improving the immunisation coverage and strengthen the cold chain management system. To eliminate measles and control rubella, UNICEF provided support in the launch of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccines. It also supported in the launch of Pentavalent and Inactivated Polio (IPV) vaccine.

Working along with the State AIDS control society, UNICEF has been successful in rolling out a more efficacious multi-drug regimen for The Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) for HIV infected pregnant women linked to Antriretroviral Therapy (ART).  Universal testing services and treatment of HIV positive pregnant women along with tracking and testing of newborns is being done.    

UNICEF is committed to improve the lives of undernourished children in the state. Focus is on to reduce Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) children though collaborative action on capacity building and standardisation of SAM case sheets.           

Anitha Anganwadi teacher engaged with childrens in storey telling activity at Anganwadi Center-IInd, Cheriyal Village, Mandal - Kandi, District Sangareddy, Telangana.
UNICEF/UN0120480
Anitha Anganwadi teacher engaged with childrens in storey telling activity at Anganwadi Center-IInd, Cheriyal Village, Mandal - Kandi, District Sangareddy, Telangana.

UNICEF supports the state in strengthening the delivery of complementary foods coupled with Early Childhood Development through Annaprashan and other community-based platforms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).  The focus is also on strengthening the reach and quality of micronutrient supplementation programmes for adolescent girls and women.

UNICEF supports the state ineffective implementation of ‘Arogya Lakshmi’ for improving maternal nutrition with Ante Natal Care (ANC) services at anganwadi centres. Around 2.5 lakh pregnant and breastfeeding women have been benefited from this.

Helping the government in strengthening growth monitoring mechanisms, a SMART dashboard was developed for routine monitoring the nutritional status across the state.

UNICEF supports the state in building systematic capacity to implement child-friendly teaching methods. It is supporting the State Institute of Educational Management and Training and State council of Educational research and Training. Interactive digital content has been developed to enhance classroom experience and UNICEF promotes alternative elementary education system which is flexible.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) polices and curriculum with implementation frameworks and support for rollout of inclusive education for the children in the age group of 2.5-6 has been done. The Aarambh Inclusive package- a first-of-its-kind guides teaches on handling children.

UNICEF also focuses on strengthening the social protection schemes that enable parents send their children to school.

UNICEF provides technical assistance to the government for improving the WASH facilities and services across the state. It builds capacities of the state and district officials for effective implementation of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen). It supported the district of Karimnagar to achieve Open Defecation- Free status.

The focus is on incorporating social behaviour change and communication approaches to achieve sanitation goals. Swacchata Volunteers have been identified to bring behaviour change in the communities.

UNICEF supports the state by strengthening child protection units through the government’s Integrated Child Protection Services (ICPS). It also builds capacities for effective implementation of child protection programme by Child Welfare Committees, Special Juvenile Police, Juvenile Justice Boards and District Child Protection Units.

UNICEF has expanded partnerships with academic institutions and law universities to strengthen public finance mechanisms, social protection schemes for the implementation of core child protection legislation. To prevent abuse and exploitation of children, UNICEF works to form and strengthen Child Protection Committees.