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.

Impacts

  • Screened over 13,000 children for malnutrition in Mumbai slums.
  • Reduced malnutrition by 25% through treatment of over 3,500 severely and moderately acute malnourished children.
  • Provides continuous training and capacity building to over 500 government health workers, improving uptake of ‘Take Home Rations’ to pregnant women and children by 38%.

Read our "Stories of Change"