Child Health & Nutrition

Goals

  • To bring about a reduction in acute malnutrition in children 0 - 36 months of age by 25% after improving the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices, Promotion of Immunization, addressing illnesses, and uptake of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

SNEHA is piloting the first Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in Dharavi. It's a unique and innovative health and nutrition program with the objective of :

  • Ensuring growth (reducing wasting and improving weight gain).
  • Improving the health and nutritional status of 0 - 36 month old children through behaviour change of care givers.

This program is in collaboration with the government namely, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). The Child Health and Nutrition Program called AAHAR has been able to combine technology, research and scientific knowledge to demonstrate an intensive and holistic approach to managing acute malnutrition.

How We Work

AAHAR works in Dharavi and has adopted a life cycle approach to tackle malnutrition addressing the adolescent girls, pregnant / lactating mothers and 0 - 3 year olds.

  • The main activities of the program include monthly screening of acutely malnourished children in the community where all children in the age group of 0 - 3 years are weighed and lengths / heights measured along with the ICDS staff (Anganwadi sevika and helpers).
  • The children screened as acutely malnourished are followed up on a regular basis to monitor their nutritional status and the mothers are provided counseling through individual home visits and community events.
  • Severe Acutely Malnourished (SAM) children and vulnerable Moderate Acutely Malnourished (MAM) children are brought for community health check ups where they undergo an appetite test to start therapeutic feeding called Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT).
  • Children in the age group of 15 months to|36 months are also referred for enrollment in our Day Care Centers that are staffed with a Teacher and Helper.
  • All children below six months and pregnant and lactating mothers are also followed up on a regular basis for home based care.
  • The other activities of the project include training the Community Organisers (the grassroot health workers at SNEHA) and the ICDS staff on various Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition issues.

Impact

  • Screened 6460 children until 31st March 2013 (1st April 2013) under 3 years of Age.
  • Presently 4529 children in the age group of 0 - 3 years in our database in the month of March 2013 Carried out anthropometry (weight and height measurement) for 70% of the children.
  • SAM brought down from 5% in October - December 12 to 3% in March 13 and MAM 12% in October - December 12 to11% in March 13.
  • Overall reduction in acute malnutrition from 15.6% to 10.4% in 6 months.

Read our "Stories of Change"