In August 2012, RMF CNE Santosh Pall found Pooja, a 9 month old girl, in Devigarh village, with a MUAC of 7.9. Picture the circumference of your thumb: that was the size of her upper arm.
Pooja was immediately rushed to the closest Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in the Thandla Hospital. There, she received the care that was required, and slowly began gaining weight. After 16 days in the NRC, she was released for home feeding.
Over the course of the past three years, RMF’s Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) have helped thousands of children recover from malnutrition. Some times these cases are easy to handle: the CNE diagnoses a child, refers them to treatment, and the family agrees to do everything they can to help their child. Often, however, there are too many challenges for these families to overcome to give their child the treatment they require.
Right now in Madhya Pradesh, the only treatment option for children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is a 14 to 21 day stay in a Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), located at central facilities outside of villages. In addition to the child, a primary caretaker, such as the mother, has to also stay with the child for the duration of their treatment. With responsibilities at home, work required in the fields for agricultural livelihoods, the care of other children, and a high level of migration for work during the dry season, it is extremely difficult to convince parents to take their children to the NRCs for this care.
We were very pleased and heart-warmed to ready today, that a mystery benefactor had anonymously sent gold bars to three of the residents of Ishinomaki, the town where our relief efforts with our partner Japanese Emergency NGO focused for months after the Tsunami hit. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21487092
May there be many more for the deserving residents of Ishinomaki and other Tsunami affected villages in Japan!
RMF partner Japanese Emergency NGO distributing donated goods after Tsunami
My father is from a small, no-name town in desperately underdeveloped central India. Though my father emigrated to the United States over 40 years ago, we still manage to go back to India each year and visit his brothers on their estate in our no-name town. The town has historically only been recognized as the birth place of cinema genius Kishore Kumar or for the massive train junction that is its raison d’etre. More recently, the town and greater district of Khandwa have become infamous for having some of the highest child undernutrition rates in the country at nearly 60% of children under five. I came back to Khandwa as a graduate student seeking answers to such unacceptable malnutrition rates and ended up unpacking the relationship between food security and nutrition outcomes among the tribal population in the district.
Amelia training RMF CNE's in Khandwa
As a Dimagi field manager, I was pleased to learn that we partner with an NGO working in Khandwa on just these sorts of issues. I had the opportunity to visit five districts in the so-called “tribal belt” of south western Madhya Pradesh – from Jhabua to Khandwa – with our partner agency the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF). For the last several years now, RMF has been working to eradicate child undernutrition in the area by employing and training local women from various communities as Community Nutrition Educators (CNE’s).
RMF’s Childhood Malnutrition Eradication Initiative has the largest field presence of any NGO working in malnutrition in the region, a result of strong partnerships with government, NGOs, businesses, and most importantly, local communities. Our team of 60 Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) and 6 District Coordinators is covering enormous ground every week across 5 districts and 600 villages in Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh carries India’s highest malnutrition burden, with 60% of its children under 5 malnourished – approximately 6 million children whose futures are at risk.
Amita, one of the many malnourished children reached by RMF's Malnutrition Initiative
Our strategy continues to be closing the gap between the resources available and the families who need them by focusing on the basics of malnutrition awareness, identification, treatment, and prevention and inserting simple, but innovative technologies and practices.
by Dr Martina C. Fuchs: Here is a fascinating and sad study report from RMF’s research team in Pakistan that details why Pakistan, despite several MNCH (Maternal Newborn and Child Health) interventions for the past two decades is unlikely to meet the MDG goal # 5 by 2015.
In closing out our Tsunami/Earthquake relief project in Japan, our partner in Japan, JEN (Japan Emergency NGO), interviewed a couple at one of the Community Gathering Centers and Shelters that we supported. Mr. Ryozo Sanjo (73) and Mrs. Kieko Sanjo (69) , are residents of Oppagawa Kasen Transitional Shelter.
Written by JEN staff
Q: At first, could you please introduce yourselves briefly?
A: Now, my husband and I are living in a temporary house. Before the disaster, we used to live in the Nagatsura area in Ishinomaki city. My husband retired a few years ago from a plywood company after 30 years. However, from time to time, he used to go and help the company and have a small income. I used to give care to my mother, who died after the disaster at the age of 98, and do farm work. We had two sons and they had their family with three children in total.