Societe Generale in partnership with Action Against Hunger inaugurated a new packaging machine at Sion Hospital’s Nutrition Rehabilitation Center in Mumbai on 17th July 2018.
Mr Sujit Kadakia along with senior members of the team did the honors and dedicated this machine to the therapeutic food production center of Sion Hospital.
Set up in 2011, the NRRTC produces Ready to Use Therapeutic Food ( RUTF) used for the treatment of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. This paste consists of milk powder, roasted peanuts, sugar and about 20 essential micronutrients, minerals and vitamins that is used to treat children who are severely malnourished.
The RUTF matches WHO’s quality standards of production and is an essential component in saving lives of children, living with almost 11 times the risk of dying due to malnutrition.
INNOVATION FOR CHANGE
With the new packaging machine, the production setup has a marked improvement in efficiency and capacity. Earlier, the RUTF was packaged in small cups that ran the risk of spillage, contamination and limited shelf life. Also, the capacity was limited to filling 6 cups per minute and could produce RUTF for 100 children per day. With Societe General’s support, we have purchased a new sachet packaging machine that can pack 15 pouches per minute, increasing the capacity to 150 children per day, saving almost 8% of the packaging cost and improving the storage capacity.
The RUTF produced by Sion Hospital is being used to treat children suffering from acute malnutrition and cancer at Sion hospital, KEM, Cooper hospital and Tata Memorial hospital.
Continuing with our underlying principle of consistent innovation in addressing malnutrion, we are in the process of identifying and testing alternatives to peanut such as soybean that will further bring down sourcing and production costs.
SOCIETE GENERALE’S FIGHT AGAINST MALNUTRITION
Societe Generale is one of the founding members of Action Against Hunger and has been supporting its malnutrition treatment project in Govandi since 2015. The Govandi program involves screening children under 5 years of age for signs of acute malnutrition, providing clinic-based treatment to malnourished children, counselling mothers and caretakers on nutrition and hygiene and improving the overall awareness in the community on the causes, effects and preventive measures of malnutrition. To make our programs sustainable, we train Government frontline workers on identifying the early signs of acute malnutrition and taking corrective action.
Under the project, Action Against Hunger has screened over 12,000 children under 5 years of age, treated over 600 acutely malnourished children, conducted more than 7000 community mobilization and awareness sessions, trained 266 Government frontline workers and reached out to a population of 52,000 with Societe Generale’s support.