Women’s health is facing a serious nutrition challenge in our state currently. Every second woman in West Bengal is suffering from anemia as has been revealed by the 4th Round of National Family Health Survey Report (NFHS-4). Anemia is one of the most prevalent nutrition deficiency disorder. And this inter-generational cycle of malnutrition continues like a vicious cycle which is reflected by the fact that approximately 33% of children under their five years of age are stunted (NFHS-4 West Bengal). To put it simply, children in West Bengal are much shorter as per their age – which is a telling sign of malnutrition. To address this challenge of malnutrition, CINI with the support of HCL Foundation focussed on the core area of maternal nutrition in 3 blocks of West Bengal (Falta, Suti-I and Nagrakata) from year 2017.
This focus on maternal nutrition was done with the aim of ensuring at least 10 kgs of weight gain by the pregnant women during their entire journey. Thus, from April 2018, the programme identified around 210 pregnant women. The primary strategies taken was creating a teamconcept among the Front-line workers through team-building activities for working together, initiating spot-feeding of supplementary nutrition and IFA tablets at ICDS Centres by Pregnant women, intensive family counselling and continuous home-contact. The extensive tracking of the entire pregnancy journey brought in numerous challenges to cope up with and finally at the end stage of the intervention, 86 women have gained 10kg and more weight during their entire pregnancy term. Anemia among the women has reduced from 50% to 35%. And finally, out of the present 175 deliveries, 85% women have given birth to healthy children weighing 2.5 kg and above.