16 May, 2018, CSR Journal
Child and maternal malnutrition continues to be the most challenging risk factor for health loss in India, according to the Economic Survey for 2017-18. The Survey noted however that there has been significant improvement in the health status of the individual as life expectancy at birth has increased by approximately 10 years from 1990 to 2015.
Sanvi Sakpal, a one year old baby, is a patient suffering from a medical condition ‘Thalassemia Major’ as a result of which she requires monthly blood transfusion. A resident of Mahabaleshwar, she came to LTMGH hospital for the treatment of Thalassemia and was referred to NRRTC since she was also malnourished. With the anthropometry of weight 4.84 kg, length 62 cm, Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) 10 cm, she was falling in the category of Severe Acute Malnutrition.
For ‘Addressing child malnutrition’ Tata motors has partnered with Nutritional Rehabilitation, Research and Training Centre (NRRTC) at Urban Health Centre (UHC) – a peripheral unit of Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (LTMGH) in Dharavi, Mumbai. It has a 30-bedded Pediatric ward with about 600 severe malnourished children (about 45% females) being treated annually with Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT).
When asked about the treatment, her mother said, “I am very happy to see my child gaining weight and coming out of malnutrition. Earlier it was challenging for us to help her gain weight but now the treatment provided has helped my child to a great extent.”
In another incident Janhavi Jayvant Mali was registered at Gaigotha Anganwadi since her third month of pregnancy. She earlier missed out on most of the days of nutrition since her mother-in-law advised her to stay at home and help out in the household work. Janhavi suffered from nausea due to pregnancy and was unable to gain weight in her first 3 months.
Tata Motors along with NGO Prasad Chikitsa (PC) in Maharashtra deployed Aarogya project, which focuses on nutrition for 800 children across 20 government Anganwadis of Thane. Under this project, the NGO also additionally reaches out to approx. 100 women (pregnant women and nursing mothers) on a regular basis through health talks and nutrition counseling.
PC’s outreach worker saw the drop in attendance of Janhavi and went to her home for a visit during her 5th month of pregnancy. She was counseled along with her mother-in-law about the benefits of good nutrition not only the health of the mother but also on the birth weight of the baby. Medicines were administered to take care of her pregnancy induced nausea. It was ensured that she visited the Anganwadi on the immunization day and took her doses.
In October, Janhavi Mali delivered a healthy baby boy, which weighed 3 kgs at birth. She is now a regular at the Anganwadi with her health baby boy and eagerly takes the supplements given at the Anganwadi.
As individuals it is instrumental that we empower women with the correct knowledge, attitudes and practices to counter malnutrition in the country.