INTEGRATED NUTRITION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
India ranks amongst the 20 worst nations on the Global Hunger Index. The state of Gujarat alone has over 1,60,000 severely malnourished children (SAM) and about 4 times more undernourished children. Malnutrition leads to stunted physical growth and brain development, resulting in a future human resource crisis. Continuing our focus on health, the Setco Foundation is committed to eradicating malnutrition in the area.
Current practices treat the problem of malnutrition and developmental delays as separate issues. However from the perspective of the child, development and appropriate nutrition go hand-in-hand. Therefore, at the foundation, we believe in an integrated holistic approach in treating the problem of malnutrition. This program is called the Nandghar Program for Holistic Early Childhood Development.
WHAT WE DO
– Ensuring timely identification and intervention for children with malnutrition and/or developmental delays with the aid of the Guide for Monitoring Child Development process (GMCD) tool.
– Strengthening the care givers’ understanding of the area of development and associated delays and treating children with developmental delays at the newly founded Child Development Centre of Setco Foundation.
– Using strength based approach for family based intervention to improve parent-child interaction with the help of our Child Development Aides (CDAs).
– Improving attention to healthcare and nutrition within the home and encourage a positive and stimulating home environment.
– Providing nutritional and medical intervention at the anganwadis in convergence with the existing ICDS program.
– Capacity building of our frontline workers by Ummeed Child Development Centre and SNEHA.
IMPACT: 2015 -2016
• Through our supplementary nutrition program at the anganwadi, more than 84% are in the normal growth zone as opposed to the Gujarat state average of the 56%.
• Through referrals, monitoring and supplementary therapeutic nutrition, we were able to track back more than 73% of malnourished children back into the green zone, against an average of 35% for many other agencies.
• We screened over 600 children and were able to address and normalize almost 25% of children identified at risk of developmental delays or disorders. The rest are undergoing therapy and show significant improvements.
• 92% of the children completing the pre-school program enrol into primary schools, including private schools. They show good integration into the academic programs in the primary institutions.