By Anil Gulati/Idhries Ahmad
SHIVPURI, 27 July 2012 - After months of despair, Uma has a big reason to smile. Her son, Aditya, is recovering at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in Kolaras block of Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh.
Only ten days back, Aditya was suffering from Severely Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and needed immediate attention and care, failing which, the situation could have turned fatal.
Caused by prolonged and chronic nutritional deprivation along with frequent illnesses, SAM significantly increases the risk of deaths in children under the age of five. Life-saving food, treatment and care given at the right time saves severely malnourished children.
Today Aditya’s body weight has increased by over 900 grams and under the able guidance of NRC staff is slowly but surely on the way to recovery.
The Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres are facility based care units where severely acute malnourished (SAM) children below five years are admitted with their mothers for treatment, stabilization and rehabilitation.
Mothers stay with the children at the NRCs and attend counseling sessions on how to take care of the SAM child after discharge from the NRC. Special foods, nutritional supplements, medicines are administered according to the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The credit for Aditya’s recovery, apart from NRC staff, also goes to the local anganwadi worker, who during the visit to family had found Aditya severely malnourished and advised the family to immediately admit the child to the NRC.
While the pediatricians at the NRC are now concentrating on further improving Aditya’s nutritional status, Uma will attend counseling sessions with the feeding demonstrators who will teach Uma the correct way of providing nourishment to Aditya.
Nutritious foods given often during and after illness are necessary for the child’s recovery. Uma will be also trained on following proper health and hygiene practices to prevent diseases to the child so that the problem doesn’t relapse.
Madhya Pradesh has 258 such NRCs set up by the State Health Department with funds from National Rural health Mission and technical support of UNICEF. In last six years, these NRCs have helped in saving thousands of children in the state.
Send a congratulatory message to doctors, nurses and paramedics working at this NRC in Madhya Pradesh who are working very hard to make sure the SAM children get new start to life.
Needless to say, they would be happy and very encouraged to do more such work with more zest and vigour. The selected messages will be printed on a special UNICEF card and handed over to NRC.