Wednesday, March 8, 2017

GPM Launches the Dr. Gerald J. Friedman Infant Malnutrition Intervention Program in the Slums of Mumbai

Gabriel Project Mumbai is thrilled to announce the launch of the Dr. Gerald J. Friedman Infant Malnutrition Intervention Program in the slums of Mumbai. The program will provide emergency nutritional intervention to save the lives of 300 malnourished children per year who are under the age of five.

The program is named in memory of Dr. Gerald J. Friedman, a New York-based physician who practiced medicine for over 55 years and specialized in diabetes, cardiology and internal medicine. During World War II, Dr. Friedman served as a young army doctor in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific and was struck by how severe malnourishment affects the growth and development of children.

The Dr. Gerald J. Friedman Infant Malnutrition Intervention Program was made possible thanks to the generous support of The Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation, an organization named after Dr. Friedman’s beloved sister, Estelle. The Foundation's support is in the form of the largest single donation that GPM has ever received. The Foundation provides support services for needy children, including children in orphanages, those with physical illnesses or disabilities, developmental delays, or in stressful life situations.

“Both my uncle and my mother would have been very proud to support the Gabriel Project Mumbai program so that we may assist children in living full and productive lives with their families,” says Foundation President, Barbara Gervis, Estelle’s daughter.

The malnutrition program will take place at the Shravan Health Center in the Bhaskar Nagar slum neighborhood. The clinic was opened by GPM in August 2015 in partnership with the local NGO Doctors for You. The center provides a full range of medical services, primarily to children and mothers. These efforts enable this 200,000-member community to receive accessible, affordable, quality health care.

The malnutrition program was conceived by the doctors in the clinic, who were concerned about high incidences of malnutrition among their patients. This is a harrowing problem in the slums. According to the World Bank, the prevalence of malnourished children in India is among the highest in the world, and has dire consequences for the children. Malnourished children have more infectious diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, experience stunted physical and mental development and have higher mortality rates than children who receive proper nourishment.

The Dr. Gerald J. Friedman Infant Malnutrition Intervention Program will be using the universally acclaimed Integrated Child Development Program (ICDP) protocol to treat severely malnourished children.Through this program, which is advocated by WHO, the UN, and other emergency relief organizations, children undergo weight and height checks, upper arm circumference measurements and other physical and cognitive development measures, in order to diagnose the severity of their malnutrition.

The Center doctors will then treat the children with a three-month comprehensive nutrition program that helps kick-start the child's physical and cognitive development. The children receive nutritional supplements in the form of Hyderabad Mix and Ezee Paste. These are powerful protein-based food treatments specifically designed to treat malnourished children. In addition, parents in the Malnutrition ICDP program are provided intensive nutritional counselling in order to help families emerge from dangerous cycles of malnutrition.

“There are currently 300 children who have been identified as being malnourished and were waiting to receive treatment,” says GPM Founding Director Jacob Sztokman. “The Dr. Gerald J. Friedman Infant Malnutrition Intervention Program will be a godsend for them and for their parents, and enable the children to stave off life-threatening hunger. We welcome the Foundation's significant and multiyear commitment to ensuring the future of these children and trusting GPM to provide impactful vital programs like this one. ”

No comments:

Post a Comment