Detecting Malnutrition in Children By Using a Simple Paper Strip

Hunger has held our country for a considerable length of time.

Regardless of India’s noteworthy financial development over the previous decade, we remain a nourishing weakling. As indicated by the National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS 4), 38.4 per cent of youngsters in India is stunted. India stays one of the most noteworthy positioning nations on the planet as far as the number of kids experiencing lack of healthy sustenance.

“As indicated by the World Bank, the predominance of underweight kids in India is practically twofold that of Sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, a kid younger than five is twice as likely to be incessantly underweight in India than in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Source: Indpaedia

To address the problem of malnutrition, the Government of India (GoI) propelled the National Nutrition Mission, also known as POSHAN Abhiyan, in December 2017. The Mission is entrusted with reducing malnutrition in the entirety of its structures, including forestalling and lessening stunting and underweight among children. It also further aimed in reducing low birth weight and reducing the predominance of anaemia among youthful kids, and adolescent young ladies.

Source: The Quint

However such Nutrition Missions recommend the same standard diet for all the children suffering from malnutrition irrespective of the nutrients and proteins they actually required. One of the main reason for not able to conduct malnutrition test on poor children the cost associated with it and their huge number of population. So rather setting off to a village and focussing on the 80 per cent of youngsters who are malnourished, they changed their segment. The segment focused on the 20 per cent who are not malnourished regardless of the equivalent financial conditions and risks. As a result, exact information of malnutrition can’t be generated and the same standard of diet is recommended for all the malnourished kids.

A young boy who addresses himself as ‘polymath’ has come up with a rather unique device to test malnutrition in children. Muhammad Suhail, 18-year-old, has developed a device which does not require the elaborate setup of syringes and other steps for testing against malnutrition. He has made a paper strip that costs as low as Rs 2/-. This helps to detect malnutrition in a child with the use of their saliva.

Source: Twitter

The process is very simple and starts by taking the child’s saliva on the paper strip. The strip is designed in such a manner that it changes colour to indicate malnutrition. The colour only changes if the child lacks the required level of nutrients and proteins. Suhail has also developed an app for the mobiles, where the paper with the saliva sample can be scanned. This reflects the percentage of the proteins and the grade of malnutrition. This information further helps to prescribe the required proteins and nutrients to a child with malnutrition. Its pilot test was carried out at Yenepoya Research centre, and it was very successful.

The young inventor has been acknowledged by MIT Lincoln. To honour him further the International Astronomical Union has named a star Suhail, after him at the Intel ISEF, May 2018 at Pittsburgh. Back home in India, he has been awarded the esteemed Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya of Bal Puraskar. This award is given to children with an outstanding exceptional achievement.

Source: Twitter

There are many young and passionate innovators like Mr Suhail in our country. So be an innovator and make our country a better place by joining us as an innovation catalyst at Bot ‘N Brains.


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