New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) After the first successful year of the Dettol BSI Nutrition India Programme, the community witnessed a 7.4 per cent reduction in the proportion of severely acute malnourished children across the districts of Amravati and Nandurbar in Maharashtra.
Within the first 10 months, the programme was able to save the lives of 6,500 children between the ages of 1-5 with the help of 41 community nutrition workers. An independent evaluation by Sustainable Square also found that every one rupee invested in the BSI Nutrition India Programme delivers a social value of Rs 36.90.
The five-year programme was developed to support the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, utilising digital and artificial intelligence-based innovative modules, to strengthen the health, hygiene and nutrition status of pregnant women and children in Maharashtra’s Amravati and Nandurbar.
Commenting on the partnership initiative, Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Reckitt Benckiser Health, said “Proper nutrition and sanitation are the catalyst to social change and one of the most critical aspects to empower young children and mothers. Given the alarming number of malnourishment cases witnessed in states like Maharashtra, districts of Amravati and Nandurbar became the starting ground for the Nutrition India Programme in partnership with Plan India. The five-year programme is aimed at strengthening the health, hygiene, and nutrition status of pregnant women and children across impacted communities.”
In the past one year, the Nutrition India Programme has worked with local communities and developed a workforce of travelling nutrition champions who are known as ‘Community Nutrition Workers (CNWs)’. These workers are given rigorous training by public health experts, paediatricians, gynaecologists, and community development specialists, and are educated about the golden rules of good nutrition.
The ongoing programme is focusing on maternal and child health. Everything related to it is being taught to these community nutrition workers, such as what precautions are to be taken by expecting mothers, what should be their diet, lessons on breastfeeding, the importance of breastfeeding within the initial hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for the newborn, and the diet which should be given to a child so that he or she is saved from the ill effects of malnutrition.