Strengthening of Nutrition Infrastructure in Sabarkantha, Gujarat

Project Vruddhi- an initiative by Action Against Hunger, is committed to supporting the efforts of the Health and Women & Child Development Department (WCD) within the Government of Gujarat to support the accelerated realization of the goals outlined under Poshan Abhiyan. With a focus on enhancing health and nutrition service delivery systems, the project aims to lend technical assistance to the taskforce overseeing Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) under the Health and ICDS scheme.  Additionally, it strives to equip the district officials with leadership acumen and Supervisory cadre with supportive supervision skills, thereby fostering sustainable progress.

In alignment with this vision, a two-day training workshop was organized for Sabarkantha district officials across both the departments in collaboration with the Department of Health and ICDS – WCD, Zilla Panchayat, Sabarkantha between December and February 2024.

Dr. Raj Sutaria, CDHO Sabarkantha, Dr. S. H. Dedhrotiya, RCHO Sabarkantha, and Manisha Brahmbhatt, Program Officer, ICDS, were the key guests at these workshops.

 1.Leadership Excellence: Igniting Potential, Inspiring Action 

The Leadership Excellence workshop, organized in December 2023, aimed to equip participants such as Programme Officers and Taluka Health Officers with essential leadership skills, enhance their strategic thinking, and inspire them to lead with authenticity and impact. The workshop incorporated theoretical knowledge, interactive activities, and practical applications to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of leadership essentials.

 2.Empowering Health and ICDS Supervisors: A Workshop on Leadership and Enhancing Supportive Supervision 

Empowering Health and ICDS Supervisors workshop, organized in February 2024, aimed to equip participants such as Female Health Workers (FHS), Multi-purpose Health Workers (MPHW) from the Health Department, and Lady Supervisors from the ICDS – WCD Department with knowledge, skills, and tools to become effective leaders and supportive supervisors within their organizations. This workshop served as a platform to share experiences and network.

From Despair to Hope: Kishan’s Journey in Gram Chaurakhadi, Madhya Pradesh

Gram Chaurakhadi is nestled along the banks of a river, near the border of Madhya Pradesh, and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The village is predominantly inhabited by the Sahariya community. While the primary health center is located 15 kilometers away, the sub-health center is closer, situated 5 kilometers away in Bil Kheda Dang.

On June 14, 2019, during a screening session, Kishan was identified as severely malnourished, with a MUAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) of 94. His mother passed away when he was just 5 months old, and since then, he has been under the care of his grandmother, Dulari Bai Sahariya, and his grandfather, Mohanlal. When Kishan developed diarrhea and fever, his family sought help from practitioners of witchcraft, but his condition did not improve. As part of these rituals, a goat was sacrificed twice, costing them more than 10,000 rupees. Despite visiting a private doctor in Devri, Kishan’s health continued to deteriorate.

Following a screening conducted by our community mobilizer, it was evident that Kishan’s condition was critical. His grandparents and father were immediately informed about the Malnutrition Treatment Center (MTC), and Kishan was admitted on the same day.

After some initial improvement, Kishan’s grandmother brought him back to the village without consulting the doctor, staying at the MTC for only 5 days. Since Kishan was still unwell, he was sent to the Baran MTC for further treatment through the Anganwadi worker and our community mobilizer. After a noticeable improvement, Kishan’s grandmother brought him back home, following the doctor’s advice. Subsequently, our community mobilizer made regular follow-up visits to Kishan’s home, guiding his grandmother on preparing nutritious meals and providing nutritional support from the Anganwadi. The visits emphasized the importance of nutrition and a balanced diet. The Anganwadi worker was also instructed to visit Kishan’s home regularly.

Through persistent efforts, Kishan’s condition gradually improved. Today, seeing him smile and play, we are immensely gratified.