- Reckitt Benckiser is addressing malnutrition in Amravati and Nandurbar
- Nutrition Programme aims to reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5
- The programme also focuses at keeping childhood wasting rates below 5%
New Delhi: A Nutrition programme that focuses on the remote region of Maharashtra. A state where malnutrition rates in children under five are 1.5 times the national average. Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is developing a scalable and replicable model to address the challenge of malnutrition in two of the worst affected districts of Maharashtra; Amravati and Nandurbar. “Nutrition being one of the very important pillars, we have a huge amount of investment that we have done over a period of time. And I am very proud to say that we are able to reach out to around 35,000 mothers through the programme. During the last one year we have seen significant improvement in the breastfeeding rates in these districts through our intervention. 40 frontline workers have been trained during the course of time. Are using various technologies and artificial intelligence so that no one is left out and we are able to address the global goals which were to reduce malnutrition as hunger”, shared Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships, RB (AMESA).
Anita Bhilawekar, whose child was severely malnourished is now recovering slowly but this has been possible due to the consistent efforts of the community nutrition workers. Anita shared happily,
Earlier my daughter was weaker and would fall ill more frequently but now that has reduced and I see her healthier.
Anita’s story is one of many in this region. Sukhmani Bhilawekar, another happy mother said,
My baby was just 1kg during the delivery and we had to go to Amravati, we stayed for one month there. Then we came back here and for three months, Imitiaz would keep crying but now luckily with all the support he is fine.
The project that was piloted during 2019-20 is now helping 32,900 children under the age of 5 as well as 3,900 pregnant women. The goals of the Nutrition India Programme are:
· Improve a child’s nutritional status during the first 1,000 days of life
· Reduce stunting by 40 per cent in children under 5
· Keep childhood wasting rates below 5 per cent
· Over the next 5 years, the programme aims to reach 1,77,000 mothers of undernourished children across 1,000 villages
As we battle COVID-19, we need to ensure that we don’t lose sight of other important issues like malnutrition amongst children which has been and is a silent national emergency. Initiatives like the Nutrition India programme that focus on transforming the first 1000 days of a child’s life and work on improving the status of hygiene and nutrition at both grassroots and policy-making levels is definitely a way forward for a healthy India.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.