Poverty stricken father denies treatment to his malnourished child

Two years old Anita was very weak and ill and spotted with Severe Acture Malnutrition (SAM) during the follow up of malnourished children of village. Situation was critical and needed immediate rehabilitation & treatment but her life was in conflict with the families survival.

Anita belongs to the Rathiya Scheduled tribe of Sarmeswar village of Madhya Pradesh and the family is dependent on a small plot land for their survival. Her father Tarachand has the  responsibility of feeding two daughters and a pregnant wife. They are not able to access the Take Home Rashan (THR) services of Anganwadi as they lived far off distance from the village.

When Rakesh the Nutrition Health Worker (NHW), recommended Anita to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) at Khalwa, Tarachand openly denied. Treatment at rehabilitation centre would have taken minimum of three weeks which he could not have afforded. Being the only bread earner, he could not decide to save his malnourished child or take care of the other three in the family.

Rakesh repeatedly persuaded Tarachand to send Anita to NRC but all efforts were turning futile. Considering the situation of the family, Rakesh gave a packet of protein supplement mix along with THR and milk powder packet issued by the Anganwadi centre.

Counselling support was given to Anita’s mother on her diet & feed care and suggested to use drumstick leaf vegetable. Constant monitored and sustained support made a difference in Anita’s health.

Within two months of rigorous intervention, Anita gained 1.5 kg weight and started recovering gradually without any support from the rehabilitation centre.

Anita during her last follow up visit

Anita is now recovering gradually without any support from the rehabilitation centre. It was only due to the strong commitment, continued follow-ups & positive efforts done by Rakesh Sabal NHW.