The Covid-19 pandemic has deteriorated key determinants of health and caused major upheavals around the world. Children, although less directly affected by the virus, are paying a heavy price through the indirect effects of the crisis, including poor diet, mental health impact, social isolation, addiction to screens and lack of schooling and health care, particularly among vulnerable groups.
Malnutrition is a significant issue effecting children in Rajasthan, India. Government data shows only 3.4% of children aged between 6 - 23 months receive an adequate diet and 61% children are underweight. Malnutrition impacts a child’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to infections. Several children in India die because of many other infectious diseases that are directly linked to malnutrition.
Seva Mandir runs community-based treatment camps in rural locations which enables us to identify and initiate treatment for children who are severely malnourished before they become seriously ill.
Anu (name changed), was just 1 year old when she began suffering from vomiting, diarrhea and a high fever. She was brought to the community health centre where she was diagnosed as being Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) and referred to the Seva Mandir supported Malnourishment Treatment Center (MTC). The doctor advised her to be admitted as soon as possible as her condition was critical. She had not been eating properly and was losing weight.
Her mother was unaware of the devastating effects of malnutrition and thought that her daughter was suffering from a minor ailment and would recover soon. Anu was admitted weighing just over 5kg, putting her in the most critical category. She stayed at the MTC for 13 days and started showing signs of recovery soon after her treatment began. She began to eat food which was rich in energy, fat and protein. When she was discharged from the MTC after 13 days she weighed 5.4kg, could hold her head up, which she was unable to do before, and was much more active. She is now healthy and in a normal nutritional category. Meanwhile her mother and family were counselled on recommended nutrition for the child.
Thank you so much for all your faith and continuous support to our programme. Had your support not been there, we would have not been able to help Anu and many more children like her. $10 from you can support the treatment for 1 malnourished child. We hope that you continue to support our project and help eradicate the malnutrition.
Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team
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