More than a third of all child deaths in developing countries occur because of malnutrition. Malnutrition blunts the intellect, saps the productivity of everyone it touches.
In India, around 46 percent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 per cent are underweight and at least 16 per cent are wasted. Many of these children are severely malnourished.
Malnutrition in children is not affected by food intake alone; it is also influenced by access to health services, quality of care for the child and pregnant mother.
Malnutrition in early childhood has serious, long-term consequences because it impedes motor, sensory, cognitive, social and emotional development. Malnourished children are less likely to perform well in school and more likely to grow into malnourished adults, at greater risk of disease and early death. Around one-third of all adult women are underweight. Inadequate care of women and girls, especially during pregnancy, results in low- birth weight babies. Nearly 30 per cent of all newborns have a low birth weight, making them vulnerable to further malnutrition and disease.
Riddhi has developed “Nutritional Surveillance System” (NSS) for Chhattisgarh state of India, which drills down to each of the States’ almost 35000 functioning AWCs for regular monitoring through Process and Outcome indicators. NSS runs with a GIS backbone, showing all Anganwadi centres. The system locates Severe and Acute Malnourished (SAM) Children by name, tracks the family and reports every month.