Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition in Govandi, Mumbai

estimated 1,46,000 children within the city of Mumbai are acutely under nourished (too thin for their height) of which 36,000 children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition and are at 9 times the risk of dying compared to a normal child. Less than 1% of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition have access to appropriate treatment.

FHF Surveyor during a home visit in Govandi


A suburban area in eastern Mumbai is famous for its transit camps with a large population of construction workers and household helpers residing in the slums. Action Against Hunger conducted a nutrition survey in May-June 2015 to assess the level of malnutrition in children under five years of age in Govandi. We found an alarming 23.4 % of children with acute malnutrition, which is way over the critical emergency rate as defined by the World Health Organization. Similarly, 3.8% of the children surveyed were found to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which calls for urgent action and intervention in treatment.

Family in Govandi slum, Mumbai

Family in Govandi

Action Against Hunger aims to launch a Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition that covers building awareness and prevention of malnutrition in this area and seek support from Corporates in associating towards this cause.

Our project in Govandi  from 2015-2018 will involve :

Screening: We will screen children while measuring their Mid Upper Arm Circumference and check Oedema. Community workers will visit house to house for screening children aged between 6-59 months residing in this area.

Referral for Inpatient Treatment:  Children  detected with severe acute malnutrition will  be referred to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center at Chota Sion Hospital in Dharavi for treatment on outpatient basis while children with medical complications and/or no appetite and/or severe bilateral oedema  will be referred for inpatient care.

Referral of comorbid cases:  While conducting our baseline nutrition survey in Govandi, we came across severely malnourished children with comorbid conditions – requiring special care. These children will be provided with emergency services such as ambulance and cost of referral to hospitals will be covered.

Project Impact : At the end of three years, we aim to have impacted the community as follows :

  • 1,827  children with severe acute malnutrition detected and treated in the community or effectively referred to Nutrition Rehabilitation Center
  • 8,951 children with moderate acute malnutrition detected and treated or effectively referred to the Anganwadi Centre
  • 784  Pregnant and Lactating Women counselled
  • 1,827 Caregivers educated on management of malnutrition
  • 753 Frontline workers and hospitals staff trained  
  • 65,000 people educated through awareness camps on prevention messages   
Training in progress on screening and detection of children

Project Supported By

This project is supported by Alan and Katherine Strang, two generous philanthropists who have visited the site of Govandi in October 2015 and decided to join their efforts to kindly promote this project through the Just Giving 220 page.


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