Home-based childcare program for malnourished children launched in Melghat

Updated:7 months, 2 weeks ago IST

Melghat (Maharashtra), Aug 5 (ANI): To curb child deaths due to malnutrition, Mahan Trust has launched an initiative to provide protein rich food for malnourished children in 36 villages of Melghat's tribal area. The venture will continue for three months to try and prevent child deaths, which occur more in the rainy season. The trust will be preparing food from locally available raw material for 222 Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) children. The food will be prepared by supporting staff of Mahan every day in semi-solid and solid form, depending on the child's age and ability to digest it. They also deliver the food in every two hours. The initiative is part of a pilot project called SAM Management and Nutrition or 'Samman'. It is the first such project of its kind in Asia and, if successful, it will be replicated on a larger scale. Mahan works in only 36 of the 321 villages in Melghat region, it is implementing the project in only these villages. But the model can be replicated in other villages too. The total expense per child is expected to run to Rs 2,000 per child per month. Some children may recover in one month but others may require three to four months food and medicinal support. Melghat, the hilly forest region inhabited mostly by tribal was known for very high infant mortality and Malnutrition related deaths (among children under 5 yrs of age). The neonatal mortality rate, Infant Mortality rate & under 5 children mortality rate were about 54,94 & 140 respectively per 1000 live births during the year 2004. Severe Malnutrition was about 9% in the area.

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