Nutrition International is a global organization delivering proven nutrition interventions to high need communities in more than 60 countries. With the support of the Government of Canada, Nutrition International (NI) has been working closely with the state government of Chhattisgarh (CG) since 2006 to improve the health and nutrition of vulnerable population, reaching 0.6 million women and 1.5 million adolescents with improved nutrition.
Nutrition International has been working in India for over two decades, supporting national and state governments in improving access, coverage and consumption of iron and folic acid supplementation among adolescents, pregnant and lactating women and promoting continuum of care through adoption and scale-up of key maternal, newborn care and infant and young child health and nutrition practices following a 1000 days’ approach.
“Malnutrition is an inter-generational issue and needs interventions across all age groups. With the generous support the Government of Canada and working closely with the Government of India for over two decades, we have been able to support the government in implementing health and nutrition program to those who need them the most.” said Mini Varghese, Acting Country Director, Nutrition International India.
Working in 27 districts of Chhattisgarh, in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Family Welfare, Women and Child Development, and Education, Nutrition International has supported the implementation of the biannual Vitamin A program since its inception in 2006. This has impacted the child mortality rates in the state as Vitamin A supplementation coverage increased from 20% in Oct 2006 to 87% in Jul 2019.
Anaemia is public health concern in India with more than half of the women and adolescent girls in India being anaemic. When it comes to Chhattisgarh, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data shows that there has been a significant reduction over 10 years in prevalence of anaemia amongst pregnant women from 63% to 42%. The state rolled out National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) in 2013 and continues to provide Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation to the prime beneficiaries – children less than 5 years, adolescents and pregnant women.
Nutrition International is supporting the government of Chhattisgarh in improving the coverage and consumption of Iron Folic Acid (IFA) & Calcium supplementation among pregnant women. As a result, there has been an increase of 17% in consumption of IFA tablets among beneficiaries consuming minimum 100 plus tablets during their last pregnancy. In addition, capacity building of health staff and monitoring and providing feedback, behavior change intervention (BCI) are integral components of the support provided to improve compliance & generate demand among the beneficiaries.
Nutrition International also supports the state’s Weekly Iron & Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) program to reduce anaemia among adolescents. This started with 9 districts and later expanded to 27 districts. This program is implemented in collaboration with the Departments of Women and Child Development, Education, the WIFA program focuses on improving the coverage and consumption of weekly iron & folic acid tablets among school-going adolescent boys and girls & out-of-school adolescent girls (age 10-19 years).
As part of the program, Nutrition International has trained 28,000 teachers and Anganwadi supervisors on WIFS, has conducted monitoring visits to 3000 schools and counselled more than 3000 girls about anaemia and its prevention through WIFA. The WIFS coverage in the state has also increased from 18% in 2016 to 58% in 2019.
Despite progress, malnutrition remains one of the biggest public health challenges in India. In collaboration with the governments of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Nutrition International has reached 25.7 million adolescents, 3 million pregnant and lactating women and 1 million newborns with programs to improve nutrition.
About Nutrition International
Founded in 1992, Nutrition International is a global organization dedicated to delivering proven nutrition interventions to those who need them most. Working in partnership with countries, donors and implementers, our experts conduct cutting-edge nutrition research, support critical policy formulation, and integrate nutrition into broader development programs. In more than 60 countries, primarily in Asia and Africa, Nutrition International nourishes people to nourish life. In India, Nutrition International has been operational for more than 20 year across multiple states. To learn more, visit www.NutritionIntl.org