NYU Capstone Team Arrives in Jhabua, Madyha Pradesh

January 16, 2010

Caitlin McQuilling

The Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) and NYU’s prestigious Capstone program have announced a partnership and three graduate students have arrived in Jhabua, Madyha Pradesh to assist with RMF’s malnutrition program.

An estimated 60 million children under the age of five are estimated to be malnourished India. The state where RMF is concentrating, Madhya Pradesh, has the country’s highest malnutrition burden, with 60% of its children under-five malnourished. Of the six million malnourished children in the state, 1.3 million of them have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and one million have moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).

Children with MAM are able to recover with careful diet regulation and nutritional supplements, and generally do not require hospitalization. SAM presents itself in two general forms: complicated and uncomplicated. Complicated SAM entails outlying medical complications such as hypothermia and pneumonia. Both forms of SAM require a minimum stay of 14 days in a hospital.

RMF’s comprehensive approach to eradicating malnutrition focuses on the entire continuum of care from identification to treatment and prevention. The students will be conducting 14 days of field research to gather information on malnutrition knowledge, prevention activities, and treatment in government facilities throughout Jhabua and Alirajpur districts. Their research will help provide RMF with baseline analysis for new districts and with information about communities and facilities that are in need of assistance, as well as identify obstacles and problems faced by malnutrition field workers when working with local communities.

We will be taking the students to all 5 Nutritional Rehabilitation Centers in Jhabua and Alirajpur to assess the centralized treatment of SAM. In addition, the students will be going to village Anganwadi Centers, both rural and town, to interview Anganwadi workers about their needs, knowledge, and any recommendations they may have into improvements that could help children.The RMF team here is excited to have the students, and is very much looking forward to their help and insights!

Country Page: India Initiative Page: Childhood Malnutrition Eradication Program