News article

MAHAN helps malnourished infants of a small Nagpur village

Posted:  Thursday, October 01, 2015

This piece of heart-warming news aptly explains the adage ‘little drops make an ocean’. A trust by the name MAHAN run by Dr Ashish Satav in Melghat, Nagpur has been successful in reducing the infant mortality rate (IMR) and malnutrition deaths in the 14 adopted villages by it. Their modus operandi: a full time paediatrician or child specialist to treat malnourished children with medicine and nutritious food; identifying and referring the vulnerable population to 6 different primary health centres.

Dr. Satav employed a paediatrician to reduce the IMR to 25. He says, “When we started our work in 2004 in Dharni block in Melghat, the IMR here was 90 per 1000 live births. MAHAN has brought this down to 30-40 in the 12 villages adopted in Dharni block and two in Chikhaldara block. The under five years of age mortality rate has also been brought down from 140 to 60. MAHAN has also cut down overall mortality from about 80 to 20% in severely malnourished kids”.

As observed by Dr. Satav, parents in Melghat are hesitant to consult a doctor. To compound their woes, the government does not deploy paediatricians to this area. Hence, MAHAN helps in plugging this gap. Once a child with malnutrition is identified, the village health workers (VHWs) and doctors follow the child up on a regular basis. The primary health sector of the government also sets up camps for diagnosing and treating children.

The trust enjoys the support of 14 VHWs in the child health programme and 12 in the malnutrition programme. In addition, male workers employed with the trust maintain nutrition farm and kitchen garden with a formula of five different beans in each garden as a source of protein along with drumsticks. Thus, the trust touches upon various health and nutrition aspects to help fight malnutrition

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