~ Marian Wright Edelman
India has the world’s largest population of malnourished children. Each day, some 1,500 children die of malnutrition. According to UNICEF, one in three malnourished children in the world is Indian. It is estimated that reducing malnutrition could add some 3% to India’s GDP. As per Indian census 2011, children in the age group of 0-6 years make up 13% of the total population in India. An estimated 15.5 Lakh children die every year before completing 5 years of age. The study shows that Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) is a major public health problem in India affecting brain development, growth, cognitive development and work capacity of a large proportion of population, which indirectly affects the progress of the entire nation.
Looking at these figures and in order to prevent the devastating consequences for children, Niramaya launched its flagship program ‘Anemia/Malnutrition Prevention and Control Program’ (APCP) in 2001.
The project aims to bring down the prevalence of anemia and malnourishment in children between 0-10 years age group. Parents are approached and counselled for behavior communication change. Every year we cater to more than 8,000 children and their parents. This is achieved through;
- Home and School Visits: Rigorous screening and identification of malnourished children
- Three Intensive Intervention Camps: Provision of proper medication and nutritional supplements
- Annual Medical Checkup: Health checkups for children.
- Health Awareness Sessions and Cooking Demonstrations
The Program functions in the communities and Balwadis as well as in government aided and private schools in Mankhrud, Govandi, and Kurla.