Bolpur Manab Jamin with the technical and financial support of Shining Eyes e. V. have introduced a Nutrition Program in 14 villages (8 villages under Raipur-Supur GP and 6 villages under Ruppur GP) for all children aged 6-36 months, all pregnant women and all lactating women until 6 months after delivery. Dr. Monika Golembiewski member of Shining Eyes e. V. and as a medical doctor is with us to see how the health development of the children and their mothers will be.
There is evidence that child malnutrition can be prevented if the mothers consume sufficient vitamins, minerals and protein during their pregnancy and lactation period. Also the nutrient requirements of the children need to be covered during this important time until 3 years of age. Any form of under-nutrition during this critical period from pregnancy until the age of 3 years can have long-term health consequences into adulthood. Thus, it is essential that the mother is well nourished herself already before the onset of pregnancy and that she slowly starts introducing nutritionally adequate semisolid food to the child when it is about 6 month old (after six months of exclusive breastfeeding). In our nutrition programs we want to fulfill this goal by providing sufficient nutrients to pregnant and lactating women and to all children in the village aged 6-36 months.
We are giving training to the mothers to prepare cooked meal which has been designed to fill the nutrient gap of currently applied local recipes on three days a week. Thus twice a week we will prepare a nutritionally modified Halwa made from wheat, dhal, milk, nuts, dates, pumpkin and egg. Once a week we want to prepare a nutritionally enhanced Kechuri prepared with rice, soy bean chunks, a good amount of vegetables and chicken.
- The children and pregnant/lactating women are also receiving a micronutrient powder called “TopNutri” which contains important vitamins, minerals and protein in order to fill the micronutrient gap of local family diets.
- The children and pregnant/lactating women are also receiving a powder from Sajne Pata (Moringa leaves) mixed with Lal Sak (Amaranthas Tricolored) in order to fill the micronutrient gap of local family diets.
While the children will not receive any vitamin tablets during the study period, pregnant women will receive iron and folic acid tablets from the health care centre. This is very important for the healthy development of the child and prevention of anemia. The cooked meals will be provided to all children, pregnant and lactating women who are participating in the program.
Before commencement of the nutrition program, Bolpur Manab Jamin with the technical support of St. Mary’s Mother and Child Care Hospital, Paruldanga have done medical checkups in all the villages. We have assessed the age, weight, length, MUAC and Hb of 380 children and 120 pregnant/lactating women and also of the mothers of the concerned children.
Every month BMJ members are making home visit to all families with children in the nutrition program. The results are being documented and analyzed.
Our wish is to improve the health and nutritional status of the children and their mothers.