Customised Malnutrition Program
● As per Census 2011, in urban India, over 32% children under ﬁve years of age are underweight and 39.6% are stunted.
● One contributing factor to these woeful nutrition statistics is the lack of access to basic preventive care information during pregnancy and childhood.
● In order for behaviour change communication (BCC) to be eﬀective, it must be timed and targeted to reach the right people at the right time, culturally speciﬁc and reinforced by repetition over a period of time.
● Secondly, when a child is diagnosed to be malnourished, after treatment, the child often goes back into the same ill-informed environment with the mothers having no knowledge regarding the rehabilitation process to be followed at home.
The commendable mobile phone penetration in India (over 946 million in 2015) provides a strategic opportunity to realize the potential of BCC through timed and targeted voice calls in improving malnutrition rates in the country.
mMitra Customised Malnutrition Program : This will be oﬀered as an add-on program to all mMitra subscribers of ARMMAN in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Primary Aim of the program is:
● Reduce the malnutrition rate in Mumbai
● Handhold the mother of a malnourished child through the malnutrition treatment and rehabilitation process.In addition to the once a week mMitra voice call from the fourth month of infancy, additional voice calls focused on malnutrition prevention will be sent.
120 additional voice calls will be sent from 4th month of infancy until the child is 5 years of age on nutrition & malnutrition. (An additional call a week until, once a week in the second year and then once a month till age 5)
These voice calls will focus on:
● Complimentary feeding practices including the food groups that need to be introduced weekly, based on the state and district
● Prevention and treatment of conditions that precipitate and worsen malnutrition like diarrhoea
● Sanitation and hygiene
● Immunization reminders
● The complications and sequalae of undernutrition and overnutriton
● Need for regular anthropometric measurements including height of the child
● Services available at the Anganwadi
Handholding through the mMitra Call Centre: This will be used for higher intensity intervention for children identiﬁed in the program with SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition).
When a child is diagnosed to be severely malnourished, the Anganwadi worker or partner NGO staﬀ or the woman herself can give a missed call to our call centre, and trained call centre personnel will handhold the mother via weekly calls through the malnutrition treatment process (8 weeks) and monthly calls for eight months subsequently through the rehabilitation process. The FAQs and the information to be provided will be created by an experts’ team drawn from NNF and IAP.