Fighting Malnutrition and Making Children Healthier is now Only a ‘Click’ Away
Save the Children Launches Digital Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre
New Delhi. 21 January 2013. 48 % of children under the age of 5 are malnourished in India, about 7 million of whom suffer from severe acute malnutrition. The Prime Minister called this a “national shame’’, which needs to be tackled on an urgent basis. To fight this silent epidemic, and tackle the persistent issue of malnutrition, Save the Children has now launched a Digital Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre which provides all of us a chance to contribute to tackling malnutrition for some of the poorest and most marginalised infants, in some of the hardest to reach corners of India, thus saving a precious life. Every year, nearly 1.7 million children die because of illnesses that are easily preventable and under nutrition is the underlying cause for about a third of these deaths. This innovative initiative is part of a larger national effort to ensure quality health care and nutrition for some of India’s poorest and most marginalised children.
It’s never been easier to support an initiative to help save children lives, and provide quality care and nutrition for young children. All one has to do is visit the digital centre at http://nutrition.savethechildren.in.
“Way too many children die due to malnutrition,” affirms actor Parineeti Chopra, an Ambassador for Save the Children, adding, “and that’s why all of us should support Save the Children to give every child a better life.” The digital centre simulates the experience of being inside an ideal and child-friendly Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), now being set up in some states by their governments to treat babies suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) -- which is a life-threatening condition.
Visitors can browse through the portal’s content to familiarize themselves with the needs of these babies and infants and choose how their contributions will be used. The digital centre provides an opportunity to visit the different sections of a NRC like the Counselling Room, Out Patient Department and Medical Ward from one’s computer.
There is a wide range of ways to contribute, for example, visitors can fund a digital thermometer (Rs. 150), nutrition supplements (Rs. 100) or even sponsor a doctor (Rs. 25,000). To create an appropriate environment that is safe for and appeals to children, contributors can also fund walls of the NRC to be painted with bright colours (Rs. 6,000), a TV set and a DVD player for training purposes as well as edutainment of mothers and children (Rs. 3,500), and toilets that are appropriately designed for children (Rs. 11,000). There are two ways for visitors to donate: browse the digital centre and buy items, or make a quick donation. “With support from donations on the digital centre, we want to create a model NRC that treats children for malnutrition but also provides a stimulating environment conducive to young children. We are working with the government in these states and it is our hope that the government can then scale-up this model and replicate in all NRCs,” informs Thomas Chandy, CEO of Save the Children.
A number of NRCs are already operational in states with the highest burden of SAM cases, including Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; other states are also setting up NRCs in select Districts and Blocks. But NRCs face two major challenges which are that the staff is not adequately trained to manage children suffering from malnutrition, and that the NRCs do not have adequate infrastructure and are not child-friendly -- they do not provide a stimulating or appropriate environment that is conducive to child development. This money will enable strengthening of 5 NRCs in Jharkhand and Rajasthan providing them with the necessary health, nutrition and educational -oriented equipment, as well as materials that would provide the children with a stimulating and safe environment by making the NRCs more child-friendly.
Malnutrition stunts physical, mental and cognitive growth and makes children more susceptible to illnesses. Join Save the Children in the battle against malnutrition, visit the digital centre at http://nutrition.savethechildren.in and help to save a child’s life today.
Media Contact: Devendra Tak, National Manager – Media & Communication, +91 9811168488, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Save the Children
In India, Save the Children works on Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in select areas in Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. CSAM cases with complications are referred to NRCs. The organisation runs Feeding Centres, Mobile Health Units and guides health workers, to provide nutritional support to marginalised children, mothers and pregnant women. For more information please visit www.savethechildren.in