HDB Financial Services addresses malnutrition in the urban slums of Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad, 03 March 2022: HDB Financial Services (HDBFS), in collaboration with CHETNA, has initiated Project SNEHA, to address and prevent the cases of malnutrition in eleven slum areas of Vasna ward, in Ahmedabad.

Project SNEHA facilitates pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years of age to adopt a healthy diet that is affordable, locally-available and easy to prepare. Project SNEHA has so far positively impacted lives of nearly 6500 women and children.

Through a series of group-based awareness sessions and one-on-one counselling, mothers of undernourished children are encouraged to prepare dietary charts. To ensure that desirable health and nutrition indicators are achieved, mothers and ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers track a child’s consumption pattern, height, weight and haemoglobin-level on a monthly basis.

Project SNEHA also focuses extensively on improving maternal healthcare. Sessions on breast feeding, complementary feeding, immunization and post-natal care are conducted regularly. Additionally, family planning / birth spacing methods are promoted among adolescents, newly-weds, and those in the reproductive age group.

Commenting on the initiative Ms. Shirley Thomas, National Head – Human Resources, HDBFS said,“Healthy nutritional programming is critical to holistic development of new-born babies. Poor intake of nutrition by mother and her child in the first 1000 days can cause irreversible damage to a child’s early development. Project SNEHA has touched the lives of over 6500 families through its continuum of care approach that focuses on reproductive health, maternal care and early child development.”

Ms Pallavi Patel, Director CHETNA, said, – “Rapid urbanisation demands urgent action to address the health and nutrition needs of the vulnerable communities. Project SNEHA, with the financial support from HDBFS, has provided us an opportunity to be one of the pioneers to address these needs. The project systematically involves the community as a whole by creating mass awareness about maternal, child and adolescent health and nutrition, and has brought a significant change in the health and nutrition indicators. We are thankful to the HDBFS to make our vision and dream to improve the urban health scenario come true.”

Project SNEHA has resulted in substantial increase in intake of iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements by pregnant women, preference of institutional deliveries over child-birth at home, and adopting breastfeeding practices. With consistent efforts and monitoring of dietary intake, nutritional level of acutely and moderately malnourished children in the slums has shown a positive improvement.

HDB Financial Services addresses malnutrition in the urban slums of Ahmedabad

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