Getting malnourished children back on the right track-Firoz Rozindar

-The Hindu

Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre provides care, rehabilitation for free

Around 10 days ago, when 15-month-old Dundavva was brought to the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) at the government hospital here, she was critically malnourished.

Now, after her stay at the centre, she is not only recovering from chest infection, but is also gaining weight.

An anganwadi worker brought Dundavva and her mother, Sharada, to the centre from Matyal village in Basavanabagewadi taluk.

Pilot project

Like Dundavva, 10 other malnourished children are now recovering at the centre for free. The centre is part of a pilot project launched under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in Bijapur and Gulbarga districts a year ago.

“The government selected these two districts because it found that over 40 per cent of the children in these districts were critically malnourished, while about 60 per cent of the children were partially malnourished,” said S.H. Dasharath, senior paediatrician and in-charge of the centre. Dr. Dasharath said that they had been treating malnourished children, especially from rural areas, at the centre.

He said that poverty and lack of knowledge were the major reasons for the increasing number of malnourished children in rural areas.

He said that the NRC was started with the objective of providing treatment and rehabilitation to malnourished children, who are brought to the centre by anganwadi workers from their areas.

The centre admits children aged between six months and 5 years, who have been diagnosed as malnourished.

“We allow the children to stay at the centre for a maximum of 15 days during which time he/she is treated and rehabilitated. Each child is given an egg, 300 ml of milk and banana juice daily to help him/her put on weight,” he said.

Besides providing medical treatment and nutritious food to malnourished children, the centre also creates awareness among parents on the need to ensure that their child follows a healthy diet. Even after the child is discharged from the centre, doctors from the primary health centres in their localities and anganwadi workers monitor the health of the child.

Park planned

The centre, which provides toys for the children to play with, has plans to develop a small park nearby, Dr. Dasharath added.

Dr. Dasharath claims that the centre, which has treated nearly 200 children so far, has not registered a single death.

‘We allow children to stay for 15 days at the most’

‘Each child is given an egg, milk and banana juice daily’

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