Teacher feeding nutritious meal to a creche child
In order to ensure that that all children living on construction sites enjoy healthy and happy childhoods, MMC goes beyond providing healthcare and nutrition at the centres. Our teachers are committed to educating and uplifting the migrant community from the inside, by communicating with parents, and by following up about the children even when they leave Mumbai.
When one-year-old Sumit* arrived in Jasai, at our centre located on a stone quarry site, he weighed only 6.78 kgs. His parents had recently migrated to Jasai in 2015, from Beed, a rural, drought-prone area in Maharasthra. Sumit’s family is part of India’s mass migration moves to cities in search of livelihood opportunities. They worked long and difficult hours at the stone quarry and therefore, could not care properly for Sumit. When MMC opened its Jasai centre in January 2016, teachers found that Sumit was suffering from severe acute malnourishment (SAM). According to UNICEF, a SAM child is nine times more likely to die than a child with a normal weight in the same circumstances.
MMC teachers closely monitored Sumit’s health and nutritional status and consulted Sumit’s parents. They found that Sumit weighed only 2kgs at birth and did not receive regular and adequate meals. However, before Sumit could be taken to see medical professionals, his family had to move back to Beed. Because of the nature of India’s construction industry, migrant labourers are often hired temporarily and suddenly let go, leaving the workers homeless, with no choice but to move back to their village.
Fortunately, Sumit’s family returned to Jasai seven months later. The doctors that visit MMC’s centers quickly noted Sumit’s precarious nutritional status and referred him to a nearby hospital where he was prescribed micronutrient supplementation. Under the diligent care of MMC’s teachers and doctors, Sumit began to steadily gain weight. After his weight improved to 7.59 kgs, he was no longer categorized as severe acute malnourished (SAM). However, he was still malnourished. When MMC’s teachers noticed that he was no longer gaining weight, they quickly moved him to a special diet of protein, multivitamins and calcium. The teachers regularly discussed Sumit’s progress and nutritional needs, with his mother. For Sumit to become healthy and stay healthy, his family needed to be involved.
After 3 months of special diet supplementation, Sumit finally weighed 9kgs, the normal weight for a child of his age. MMC continues to monitor his health to ensure that he remains healthy and ready to attend school soon.
Achievements in MMC’s health programme in the past quarter, January 2018 to March 2018:
- 1403 illnesses detected and treatment facilitated
- 1790 vaccinations given to children
- 212 times doctors’ visits were organised
- 61 chai Pani Meetings (informal meetings with parents) organised to discuss health and other social issues.
- 534 people reached through chai pani meetings on average every month
The funds received through GlobalGiving in the past months has been utilised towards some of the abovementioned essential components of our healthcare programme like doctors’ fees, medicines, multivitamins and calcium supplements for children, hygiene care materials, etc. It has also been utilised towards providing food for children, which includes milk, fruits, and nutritious snacks.
We look forward to support from funders through GlobalGiving to build bright futures for children like Sumit.
*Name changed to protect the identity of the child
Regular Ht and Wt screening
Discussion with parents on health issues
Children enjoying meal at our centre!