Gujarat : Kheda district achieve dazzling success in malnutrition
As per the 2019-20 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), 30.9% of children aged 0-5 in the district were found to be underweight for their height, with 12.1% experiencing severe malnutrition. In response to this challenge, the Kheda district administration, in collaboration with the Gujarat government, initiated the 'Kuposhan Mukt Kheda Abhiyan.'
Kheda : Kheda district in Gujarat has achieved a dazzling success with a unique case study of transformation in the fight against malnutrition under the ‘Kuposhan Mukt Gujarat Maha-Abhiyan’ (KMGA) program aimed at treating children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) across the state.
As per the 2019-20 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), 30.9% of children aged 0-5 in the district were found to be underweight for their height, with 12.1% experiencing severe malnutrition. In response to this challenge, the Kheda district administration, in collaboration with the Gujarat government, initiated the ‘Kuposhan Mukt Kheda Abhiyan.’
This pilot project is designed to address malnutrition in the Galateshwar, Mahudha, and Thasara talukas, focusing on 150 severely malnourished children and high-risk pregnant women in these areas. The project is spearheaded by the District Development Officer (DDO) of Kheda district.
The project witnessed the implementation of proactive initiatives over three months. From August to September 2023, 35 teams from the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) conducted primary screenings for all registered children aged 0 to 6 years in Anganwadis across the Kheda district.
Children meeting the specified criteria were enrolled for 14 days at the Child Malnutrition Treatment Center (CMTC). Subsequently, they underwent check-ups to monitor weight gain progress, every fifteen days.
In the pilot project aimed at combating protein-energy malnutrition in children, an initiative to introduce third-day meals in Anganwadis was started with the support of local donors in three talukas. Children now receive a diverse daily meal consisting of items such as Hyderabad mix, bajra ni raab, ladoo made from the take-home ration, milk, fruits, sukhdi, Shiro, and magas. This initiative ensures that children get protein-rich and nutritious food.
ASHA and Anganwadi workers conducted daily home visits for severely malnourished (SAM) children and pregnant women at high risk. They assessed their nutritional and health status using a prepared checklist. The checklist included monitoring the consumption of freshly prepared home-cooked food with specific ingredients. Additionally, during these visits, severely malnourished children were provided with multivitamins and iron syrup.
RBSK teams carried out follow-up screenings every 15 days for all 150 children in the three talukas. They documented and reported the malnutrition status of these children.
Groundworkers, along with district and taluka-level officials, conducted a comprehensive performance review every 10 days. These sessions were guided by the District Development Officer of Kheda to ensure effective management.