Title : Combating Malnutrition through therapeutic/awareness interventions to address acute malnutrition in urban slums of PCMC, Maharashtra
Malnutrition has persistently remained a pressing issue for children between the ages of 0-6 yrs in India calling for a better understanding of the reasons ranging from socioeconomic and financial to awareness based or strictly related to medical conditions.
There is a strong correlation between pediatric malnutrition and level of education in the mothers. While awareness building campaigns help to improve the future of the children, a total assessment of the health of the child is imperative to design a treatment plan. In order to develop an understanding of the paradigms of how malnutrition presented in pediatric subjects, a survey was conducted, followed by individual assessment, counseling and treatment of the participants.
1864 Children were screened for malnutrition based on overall fitness and Middle-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) in the age group of 6-59 months and hence were categorized into two major groups of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). A program called CMAM (Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition) was used for screening, selection, classification, treatment and management of the participants. Subjects categorized under SAM were given life saving treatment in the form of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and those under MAM were Ready-to-use Supplementary Food (RUSF) for 8 weeks. MAM subjects were also given supplemental therapy of multivitamins, Iron and Calcium. All children under the scope received deworming and Antibiotic therapy. Anthropometry was performed weekly for SAM and bi-weekly for MAM subjects to monitor the progress. Post 8 weeks a reclassification of the subjects was done based on anthropometry results to deduce whether the subjects had moved from SAM to MAM status or had moved to a healthy zone. Those which had moved to the healthy zone were given specially formulated sustainability plans.
From the inception of the project, over the course of 7 years an average of 29.60% (SAM) and 70.36% (MAM) cases were recorded. During this period a steady decrease in SAM cases was observed with a simultaneous increase in MAM cases. At the time of conclusion of this project an average of 1.14% (SAM) and 7.90 % (MAM) cases were recorded and 97% of the subjects had moved to the healthy zone and had sustained for a 12 month cycle.