From Despair to Recovery: The Inspiring Journey of Prema – A Tale of Community Mobilization, Collaboration, and Triumph Over Malnutrition


The case story of Hiral (name changed) is a testament to the dedication and effectiveness of community mobilizers like Tejas Korada, and the collaborative efforts of Action Against Hunger India, ICDS, the health department of Jawhar P.S., and local NGOs.

In the Katkari hamlets of Nandgaon village, Tejas our community mobilizer was conducting routine screening activities when he came across Hiral (name changed) and her daughter Prema (name changed). Immediately recognizing the signs of malnutrition in the 22-month-old child, Tejas decided to screen her for further evaluation. The screening revealed that Prema’s weight-for-height Z score was -3SD, indicating severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

Tejas wasted no time and, together with an Aanganwadi worker, visited Prema’s household to inform her caregivers about the seriousness of malnutrition and the need for immediate treatment. The caregivers were counseled on various aspects of malnutrition and convinced to admit Prema to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) at the sub-district hospital in Jawhar.

On the same evening, Prema was admitted to the NRC, where she stayed for 14 days undergoing treatment as per protocol. Tejas provided continuous follow-up during her stay, ensuring she received the care and attention she needed to recover. However, upon discharge, it was observed that Prema had only gained 0.2 Kg of weight during her time at the NRC, which was not sufficient for her full recovery.

Recognizing the need for further intervention, Action Against Hunger India, ICDS, the health department of Jawhar P.S., and a local NGO jointly organized a health check-up camp for SAM and MAM children who were not showing progress despite treatment. Prema was referred to this camp, and transport arrangements were made to ensure her attendance.

During the camp, Prema underwent a thorough examination, and her blood and sputum samples were sent for testing. The results revealed that her hemoglobin levels were dangerously low, necessitating a blood transfusion. Additionally, it was discovered that Prema had developed a pediatric tuberculosis infection, and she was immediately put on medications to begin her treatment.

Throughout this challenging period, Mr. Tejas Korada continued to provide unwavering support. He conducted home visits to ensure Prema was receiving proper medication as directed by the medical officer.

In November, as part of routine follow-up, Prema was screened again, and the results were heartening. Her weight had increased to 8.00 Kg, and her height remained at 71 cm. Her weight-for-height Z score was now at -1SD, indicating that she had successfully overcome malnutrition and was on the path to recovery.

The success of Prema’s treatment was not only due to the efforts of the healthcare professionals and the community mobilizer but also because of the accountability and dedication shown by Prema’s caregivers. The timely and effective referral to institutional services played a vital role in ensuring Prema received the necessary medical attention and recovered from malnutrition.