India: Childhood Malnutrition Eradication Program

Fourth Quarter 2014 Malnutrition Eradication Program

May 20, 2015

Michael Matheke-Fischer, Prabhakar Sinha, Santosh Pal

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Results &


Household Reach

Increase due to Migrant Families

Household coverage greater than expected due to early return of migrant families

Cluster Screenings

Numbers Down

Cluster screenings not as successful as anticipated due to intradistrict migration for daily wage work

Knowledge Retention

New Tools

Initial challenge in recording adoptions of knowledge retention, corrected with development and implementation of new knowledge tools

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& Objectives


This project empowers communities through health literacy and connects rural communities with the government health and nutrition services available. This project aims to prove that a holistic, decentralized, community-based approach to malnutrition eradication will have better health outcomes, be more inclusive for children under 5, and will be more cost-effective in the long-run than centralized approaches, especially for rural, marginalized tribal communities. Our team of up to 75 Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) and 6 District Coordinators has covered enormous ground across 5 districts and 600 villages in Madhya Pradesh.


  • To reduce the prevalence of underweight children under 5 years old and to reduce child mortality from malnutrition by strengthening communities and village level government facilities’ capacity to identify, treat, and prevent malnutrition.
  • Continue to identify new SAM and MAM cases, refer complicated cases to the NRC and provide home-based counseling for all malnourished children
  • Refer 1,000 SAM children to government centers for treatment with a 50% success rate Quarterly
  • Conduct 2,500 Community Nutrition Meetings Quarterly
  • Conduct 9,000 Individual Family Counseling Sessions Quarterly
  • Send CNEs to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs) to help counsel families present
  • Continue to develop linkages with government health and nutrition services
  • Strengthen institutional capacity with support from World Bank’s India Development Marketplace Award.
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Q4, 2014

• Identified 325 children suffering from SAM and gave counseling to the caregivers of each of these children
• Saw an improvement from SAM to MAM in 283 children
• Identified 742 new children with MAM and provided one-on-one counseling to the caregivers of these children
• Saw an improvement from MAM to normal in 627 children
• Successfully ensured the 14-day treatment of 150 of the most serious cases at local Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers
• Conducted 1,298 village nutrition training sessions, with over 10,101 people in attendance
• Conducted 10,736 family counseling sessions

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Vijay, Ritu and their son clean water stand set up by vijay in his home

Success of Hygiene and Sanitation Video

Vijay, a farmer, lives in Maidarani village with his family, including a child of 18 months. Maidarani, a small village with a population of approximately 500 people, comes under tribal block Khalwa which is located at a distance of 60 kilometers from District headquarters. The people of this village belong to the Korku tribe.

Savitri, one of RMNT’s CNEs (RMNT is RMF’s India trust), was on her routine field visit in her area and was supposed to screen a community oriented behavior change video on “Hygiene and Sanitation” at this village of Maidarani. Following her micro plan, she pulled together 4-5 households as audience for the activity. Before she screened the video, she set the tone and initiated a discussion around problems that villagers face with respect to hygiene, sanitation and safe drinking water and its storage. After having screened the video successfully, our CNE facilitated a follow-up discussion with the group of men and women present there. Vijay was also part of the audience. He watched the video and went back home. He discussed the content and messages received from the video with his wife. They decided to make arrangements for keeping their drinking water safe. They also got a stand put up for keeping their drinking water vessels safe and clean.

After a fortnight, Savitri, our CNE, went back to the village to track adoptions related to the video she had screened. Savitri also met Vijay and wanted to understand if there was an impact of the video messages that were delivered. During their interaction, Vijay observed that, “these videos are creating a greater awareness on Hygiene and Sanitation to our community as people here are not much aware about these issues”.

Vijay watched the video on “Hygiene and Sanitation” and understood that storage of water for safe drinking was one of the important aspects of maintaining hygiene. Immediately, he built a two feet high platform to keep the drinking water brass pots/vessels at his home.

Ritu, Vijay’s wife was finding a huge difference in the quality of drinking water after a safe platform was constructed for keeping the vessels. Now, because the platform was high, they could maintain required cleanliness there. Children, too, were not able to reach the place and put their unclean hands into the pot for fetching water. Ritu feels that this practice would protect the entire family from water contamination. The couple feels that they are very lucky to get this piece of information through videos as their son was growing, looking at their son Krishna, who is 18 months old.