Children in Telangana
Working together on a multi-dimensional plan to address stunting, wasting and improve breastfeeding practices.
The north-western portion of Andhra Pradesh was separated to form the new state of Telangana on 2 June 2014. Hyderabad will remain the acting capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for ten years. Telangana consists mostly of hills, mountain ranges, and thick dense forests.
The new 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 mean the state must devise a multi-dimensional plan. Telangana is also battling a ‘triple nutrition’ burden scenario: under nutrition, over nutrition or obesity and anaemia all 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 (RTE) Act.
Telangana is the only state in the south which is yet to be declared 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 to protecting children.
Advancing children’s rights and well-being
UNICEF is the lead development partner in the implementation of the government’s flagship health programme - the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Strategy - in two high priority districts: Adilabad and Mahbubnagar. In addition support is being given to the state to reduce stunting (short height for age) and unde-rnutrition among children by promoting appropriate infant and young child feeding practices, along with 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.
We are supporting the government towards improving the quality of both maternal and newborn care by standardizing 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 Telangana in improving its 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 positive pregnant women linked to Anti-retroviral 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. The focus is on reducing the number of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) children though collaborative action on capacity building and standardization of SAM case sheets.
Strengthening the delivery of complementary foods coupled with Early Childhood Development through Annaprashan and other community-based platforms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a key priority of our work in the State. The focus is also on strengthening the reach and quality of micro-nutrient supplementation programmes for adolescent girls and women.
UNICEF supports Telangana in effective implementation of the ‘Arogya Lakshmi’ programme for improving maternal nutrition with Ante Natal Care (ANC) services at anganwadi centres.
Helping the government to strengthen growth monitoring mechanisms, a SMART dashboard was developed for routine monitoring of the nutritional status across the state.
UNICEF supports systematic capacity building 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 the classroom experience and UNICEF promotes alternative elementary education system which is flexible.
Early Childhood Education polices and curriculum with implementation frameworks and support for roll-out of inclusive education for children in the age group of 2.5-6 has been done. The Aarambh Inclusive package, a first-of-its-kind guides teaching. UNICEF also focuses on strengthening social protection schemes that enable parents send their children to school.
UNICEF provides technical assistance to the government for improving WASH facilities and services across the state. It builds capacities of state and district officials for effective implementation of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen). The focus is on incorporating social behaviour change and communication approaches to achieve sanitation goals. Swacchata Volunteers have been identified to facilitate behaviour change in communities.
Across the state we support the strengthening of child protection units through the government’s Integrated Child Protection Services (ICPS). We build capacities for effective implementation of the child protection programme by Child Welfare Committees, Special Juvenile Police, Juvenile Justice Boards and District Child Protection Units. To prevent abuse and exploitation of children, UNICEF works to form and strengthen Child Protection Committees.
UNICEF has expanded partnerships with academic institutions and law universities to strengthen public finance mechanisms and social protection schemes for the implementation of core child protection legislation.