This project wants to improve Health & Nutritional Status of destitute pregnant women & children living in slums in West Bengal, India. First 1,000 Days of human life (9 mth pregnancy & first 2 yrs life of child) are fundamental for preventing malnutrition, poor fetus brain growth, impairment of physical & mental growth. We ensure access/utilization of basic maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition services.
Malnutrition/poor health affects most children living in slums. In West Bengal, 42% of children are stunted in growth and the percentage of children suffering the most severe forms of malnutrition is going up. The level of malnutrition is 3 times higher than the threshold used internationally to trigger an emergency response, however government schemes lack focus. Malnourished babies have a higher risk of dying in infancy & face lifelong cognitive/physical deficits and chronic health problems.
We provide training/support to mothers on improved food & nutrient intake & proper health care during pregnancy/lactation; exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of child life; energy & nutrient complementary food for children 6-24 months with continued breastfeeding; safe handling of complementary food & hygienic complementary feeding practices; full immunization and bi-annual vitamin A with de-worming; timely-quality therapeutic feeding/care for severe malnutrition cases & illness.
To date, 852 children (80% of 0-2 year old children living in targeted slums in Siliguri) are immunized and get daily nutritious food. 85% of pregnant women are receiving ante-natal care. The project aims to expand the services in targeted slums in order to reach 100% coverage of children and pregnant women that receive immunization, ante-natal care & health services by the end of 2018. The first 1000 days of the life of a child have a strong impact on communities to grow & rise out of poverty.