The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development hosted a webinar on May 27 on malnutrition among children and adults in India during the COVID-19 crisis. Over 30 per cent of the world’s children who suffer from acute malnutrition live in India.

Dr Anant Jani, Research Associate at the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, discussed how malnutrition renders the population more vulnerable to COVID-19, given its links to weakened immunity, morbidity and mortality. By examining the links between malnutrition and poverty, Dr Jani explained that interventions aimed at nourishing India’s children would keep the population safe and healthy, and promote the development of India in the future.

Sahil Shah, Honorary Fellow at the Jahn Research Group, discussed the disruptions in food supply chains during India’s lockdown and its links to reduced micronutrient consumption. Curfews and social distancing rules have impacted the operations of fortification drives, fruit and vegetable supply from farms and have reduced the absorption of natural Vitamin D from sunlight, said Mr Shah. Thus, the production, access, and ultimately the consumption of nutrients has been affected, he said.

The webinar was moderated by Lakshmi Santhosh Maithel, Project Steward for non-profit organisation Asha for Education.

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