What we do

Treatment

Providing home-based treatment to children suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and referring children with severe acute malnutrition to the nearest Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRC).

Prevention

We educate and counsel pregnant, and lactating mothers on ANC, PNC, pregnancy care, maternal and child nutrition, breastfeeding and care practices, complimentary feeding etc. This ensures healthy deliveries and enables families to raise their children to be healthy and strong. We also educate communities on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to arrest the cycle of water borne diseases that lead to loss of vital nutrition in children thus contributing to malnutrition. This is based on the First 1000 Days of Life Model

Sustainability

To make our programs sustainable, we train Anganwadi, ASHA and other Government front-line workers on identifying signs of acute malnutrition in children, taking corrective action, maternal and child nutrition and sanitation. Through this we strengthen and support the existing Government structure. With the help of our supporters, we also refurbish Anganwadi centers with reconstructed walls, educational drawings, play equipment, hand washing stations etc. to to make them a playful and inviting place where children can learn and grow. We work consistently with the communities where we are present to bring about a behavior change in terms of nutrition and sanitation through education and awareness and enable them to fight malnutrition on their own in the long run.

First 1000 Days of Life model

Hunger and the resultant malnutrition often have an inter- generational cycle as an underlying cause. An undernourished mother is more likely to give birth to a low birth-weight baby, without adequate nutrition the low birth-weight baby grows up as an undernourished adult and parent. This cycle of malnutrition, if unchecked, continues from one generation to another. The key to combating malnutrition in the long run, is breaking this seemingly perpetual cycle of huger and providing communities with the resources and knowledge to raise healthy children.

The First 1000 days of life model based on preventative care, aims to break this cycle through interventions at key touch points during pregnancy and the child’s early years. These interventions focus on nutrition knowledge access and security, health and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). This year Action Against Hunger India made a concerted effort to align its on ground programs around the First 1000 days of life model with a major focus on preventative behaviour change.

The “First 1000 Days” refers to the period between conception and the child’s second birthday. Nutrition and care during this period shapes the child’s growth and lays a foundation for the rest of the life. The “First 1000 Days” are a period of rapid physical growth and accelerated mental development and offer a unique opportunity to build lifelong health. This is the period when a baby’s brain reaches 80% of its adult size and with the right nutrition, they are 10 times more likely to overcome life-threatening childhood ailments. Since a child’s growth and development starts right during the fetus stage, a mother suffering from malnutrition during pregnancy could lead to an underdeveloped fetus resulting in the baby being born with low birth weight. This could affect their physical and mental development during early childhood.

Nutrition during these first 1000 days will affect the child’s lifelong growth, immunity and brain development. It will also dictate if the child suffers serious health problems later in life. In other words, these first 1000 days are our best chance to secure a healthy future for the baby.

Interventions under the First 1000 Days of Life model

Prevention of anaemia

Helping pregnant and lactating women to prevent iron deficiencies which could in turn affect the development of their child.

ANC and PNC

Ensuring that all pregnancies are registered early at health centres and providing the required care and attention for the survival and development of mother and child. This includes –

  • Screening for malnutrition and referrals to existing health centres and anthropometric measurements to determine mother and child’s nutritional status.
  • Home-based visits to individually counsel and give information to all members of the family.
  • Group activities and discussions.

Child Care

Enabling the proper physical and mental development of mother and child, including infant and young child feeding, early childhood development and immunization.

Wash

We train communities in safe and hygienic practices like the correct disposal of human waste, the importance of constructing bathrooms for the community, washing hands before cooking and eating, boiling water before drinking it and storing it safely, and a clean play environment for children.

We install taps and promote hand washing at the Aanganwadi Centers, helping local Governments raise the standard of hygiene.

Food Security and Livelihoods

We provide communities with a means to a livelihood as well as better nutrition. This is done by helping them grow their own vegetable gardens, raise chickens for eggs and poultry, practice organic farming and more.

Advocacy

We mobilize resources for maximum impact to influence policies on nutrition and create documentation based on concrete research and evidence, to give a voice to the people who are not always heard.

Capacity Building

  • Yearly training for government frontline workers such as Anganwadi workers and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs)
  • On-job support provided to all trained Government workers

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    NGO Darpan ID

    MH/2017/0160436