Chronic Malnutrition: It is like slow poisoning. Slowly over a period of a few months the child is malnourished due to Type II nutrients (which are growth promoting micronutrients). The deficiency of these can cause huge physical & mental defects like stunting and poor cognitive development which can seriously handicap the child for a lifetime.
Future prevention of Malnutrition: Educating communities and especially girls from the age of 10 years (adolescence) in the subject of nutrition is a key to future generation’s not falling prey to this deficiency. Intervention in community with women at all stages of life will prevent malnutrition. When women who are of an age to bear children are adequately empowered with knowledge about good nutrition &well being it leads a to healthy pregnancy and thus a healthy baby. We believe prevention of deficiency through education and training programs will be more effective than curing it in the future.
In addition to malnutrition prevention & eradication, we conduct programs emphasizing disease control and prevention activities, education to improve domestic child-care and feeding practices like one on one nutritional counseling, cooking demos, home visits and micronutrient supplementation, street plays aimed at informing, training and empowering our communities on early child developmental awareness.
Activities are targeted towards the most vulnerable age groups (children under 6, mainly under 3 and pregnant & lactating women), while Supplementary feeding activities are better targeted towards those who need it most, and growth-monitoring activities are performed with greater regularity, with an emphasis on using this process to help parents understand how to improve their children’s health and nutrition.
SMDT helps to prevent and treat malnutrition directly, at the grass-roots level, and by the “training of trainers”. This approach allows us to reach many more families. Many of those in our communities do not understand the importance of a varied diet, exclusive breastfeeding, avoidance of junk food, handwashing and other basic learning to promote good health. Education in these matters can make a huge difference, especially during the first 1000 days of a child’s life (from conception until two years).