Chittorgarh, a district with tribal population has a high prevalence of seasonal outmigration. Mothers are faced with time and energy constraints in providing adequate care to young ones, especially in migrant households. Further, the severe resource limitations at the household level, lead to a paucity of the availability of nutritious food. As per the NFHS 4 in Rajasthan, the rate of under-5 stunting, wasting, and underweight is 39%, 23% and 37% whereas in Chittorgarh district it is 37%, 24%, and 42% respectively. Thus it has been chosen for the POSHAN programme by the government of Rajasthan.

It is observed that under CMAM (Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition), generally 80% of malnourished children can be treated at the community level and only the remaining 20% children with medical complications require treatment at Malnutrition Treatment Centre (MTC). Thus it is essential that such a programme run continuously in the state to monitor the health status and progress of the children.

The increasing availability of nutrition and health information has not increased the knowledge of the general population. While communicating scientific knowledge to the general public, several challenges are encountered. Therefore, the correct technical information needs to be disseminated in a non-technical manner for a clear understanding of the audience. This will also help them to understand and navigate better the health-care services made available to them. The media has an extremely powerful and challenging role to play when it comes to disseminating information to the disadvantaged and vulnerable sections with lower levels of education and higher levels of under nutrition amongst children and women. Thus a workshop was planned by Action Against Hunger/ Action Against Hunger in association with the National Health Mission to empower the media to associate themselves with the cause.


The workshop was organized to create an understanding amongst the media of Chittorgarh about the importance of the CMAM programme.

Attendees at the workshop.

The Head of Advocacy, Ms. Mousumi Gupta initiated with sharing the objectives of the workshop and a brief introduction to AAH/FHF work for the fight against malnutrition in India and other countries. She also shared how AAH/FHF has spread its presence starting from Rajasthan and moving further in other states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand as a development partner with National Health Mission in the fight against malnutrition amongst children. She also welcomed media persons to visit programme intervention areas for more exposure.

Ms. Aakanksha Pandey, State Programme Manager-Nutrition & Health, FHF- Rajasthan explained about the status of malnutrition in Chittorgarh and Rajasthan. Further, she discussed on child malnutrition, its causes and about how malnutrition can be cured at the community level. She also emphasized the importance of early identification of severely malnourished children so that prompt referral and treatment can be provided to those with severe conditions and medical complications.

Mr. Govind Parikh, Deputy Director IEC, NHM, Rajasthan spoke on the role of media in highlighting the issue of malnutrition and mainstreaming it in the public opinion. He shared about the successful implementation of CMAM phase - I with the support of development partners in 13 districts of Rajasthan and benefit to approx. 9640 children. Further he explained how percentage of malnourished children are more in Chittorgarh than that in Rajasthan state and asked media to come together to make people aware about the ill consequences of malnutrition and death in children because of this cause, so that more and more people could take the advantage of the programme and get their child treated on time. He also emphasized on the convergence between the Health, ICDS and various NGO’s to come up together and work as a team by which we will be able to bring IMR and under 5 mortality indicators down in Rajasthan.

Social and Behavior Change Communication expert Mr. Nitin Saraswat discussed how media is one of the four pillars of democracy, plays an important role in making people aware and accept the desired changes required for their healthy living and well-being. He also explained how media has to play an important role in getting people change their behavior and attitude towards acceptance of services under this CMAM programme so that more and more families get their child out of the state of malnutrition. He quoted an example of “rule of 66 times” that how 66 times their pen can remind people about the importance of breastfeeding, hand washing and similarly getting their child treated for malnutrition under CMAM programme.

The Reproductive and Child Health Officer (RCHO) Mr. Vikram Kajla emphasized and discussed that nutrition is not only required for children but also causes of the problem e.g. adolescent girls and woman in the age of childbearing and IMAM programme is focusing on this holistic approach by covering all the associated services like full ANC, Immunization etc. It is important for each and every one to understand the importance of nutrition in the life cycle and uptake more and more services so that government could also serve most of the people in the community. He also informed that training of staff on IMAM implementation has been completed at the district level and within few months the programme will be implemented in Chittorgarh. Finally, he asked media persons for their support in making this programme successful by their positive role.

Ms. Samta Singh District Coordinator in ICDS department also briefed the participants about the various services being provided under ICDS and ISSNIP programme for 0-6 years children, Adolescents and Pregnant & Lactating woman from preventing them towards malnutrition and as well as contribution and convergence at field level with health department in maximum utilization of the services for health and wellbeing.

Mr. Sanjay Kumar, State Programme Manager- Advocacy, AAH concluded the workshop with a vote of thanks to all the participants and also shared about the importance and role of vernacular media for better health and nutrition of the community which could finally lead to bigger results by making Rajasthan and India free from malnutrition.

After concluding the workshop an interactive session was held between the media and Head of Advocacy Ms. Mousumi Gupta along with the officials of Health and ICDS department. The media representatives appreciated the knowledge shared during the workshop and assured their positive participation towards highlighting the issue of malnutrition in their district. They asked for more such interactive session in future and thanked the AAH/FHF team for the workshop.


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