Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pioneering malnutrition intervention through women's empowerment program

Twenty women of the Kalwa slum began special training this week in learning to prepare the National Institute of Nutrition-recommended “Hyderabad Mix”, a special combination of food and nutrients that is used to treat severe and acute malnutrition in babies.  The Hyderabad Mix is a powerful, locally-made, protein/vitamin-based food specifically designed to treat malnourished children.

This program is a targeted intervention by Doctors for You working the GPM Shravan Medical Center, who have encountered over 300 cases of moderate, severe and acute malnutrition in children under the age of five. The doctors have recommended the Hyderabad Mix, which is also recommended by the National Institute of Nutrition, as the most efficient and effective way to alleviate malnutrition in children at these crucial ages.  Clinical research has shown that a three-month, doctor-supervised treatment with the Hyderabad Mix alleviates the symptoms of acute malnutrition and helps send children under the age of 5 on their way to a healthy, thriving life.

"As the initial few years are very critical for overall development of a child. In the present scenario, we are excited about the impact GPM will have for malnourished children”, says Dr. Naresh Gill, Assistant Director of Programming at Doctors for You.
Getting familiar with the ingredients of the Hyderabad Mix

The women, who have been involved in food preparation for GPM children for the past four years, are part of a women’s economic empowerment group in the Kalwa slums.  Until now, the women have been responsible for preparing daily, hot nutritious meals for 500 children learning in classes in the Kalwa slum. With this new initiative, the women will be adding the Hyderabad Mix to their daily outputs.

The Hyderabad Mix uses powerful ingredients such as 'Sattu, a mixture of Bengal gram, ground nuts jiggery and skimmed milk fortified by Vitamin A.

“You can imagine how malnutrition affects infants.Without basic proteins, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, these beautiful children are at risk of stunted physical and emotional development, chronic disease, weakened immune systems from iron deficiencies, irreversible brain lesions and thyroid problems from iodine deficiencies, blindness from Vitamin A deficiencies, and even death.” explained GPM Founding Director Jacob Sztokman. " The beauty of this program is that it is a community based, women's empowerment program that literally 'feeds' into a targeted community nutrition program!
The women being trained by Ms Shobha from Doctors For You

The intervention, which costs $65 per child per year and has been sponsored by The Good People Fund, The Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation and by many donations of people who care about this project. This emergency program is replicable in other slum areas rife with malnutrition among children.  The program will initially start with 80 children and gradually build up to 300 by the end of the year.

To support this ongoing program, go to

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