Mumbai: Anaemia Among Pregnant & Lactating Women Dropped From 52% To 38% In Slums

Mumbai: Anaemia Among Pregnant & Lactating Women Dropped From 52% To 38% In Slums

The survey was conducted with 1000 mothers in urban poor communities across Mumbai

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Monday, May 13, 2024, 04:58 PM IST
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Mumbai: A recent survey has revealed that anaemia among pregnant and lactating women dropped from 52% to 38% in Mumbai slums. It also revealed improvements in adherence to exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, appropriate initiation of complementary feeding and diet quality for young children.

Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA) along with HT Parekh Foundation published an evaluation report titled ‘Hybrid Intervention to Improve Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition in Urban Informal Settlements of Mumbai’ assessing maternal and child health outcomes in urban vulnerable settlements in Mumbai.

As per the report, anaemia among pregnant and lactating women has reduced from 52% in 2021 to 38% in 2024. The survey was conducted with 1000 mothers in urban poor communities across Mumbai, highlighting improvement in the health status of mothers and children through the efforts of the NGO and the foundation.

Significant improvements in child-feeding practices

The report highlights significant improvements in child-feeding practices among mothers residing in these vulnerable communities. These improvements encompass several key domains, including adherence to exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, appropriate initiation of complementary feeding, and diet quality such as meeting minimum meal frequency and acceptable diet requirements for young children.

Exclusive breastfeeding rates increased significantly from 59% in the initial survey conducted in 2021 to 74% in the subsequent evaluation in 2024. Additionally, the proportion of mothers practising appropriate initiation of complementary feeding has risen from 66% to 74% over the same period. Furthermore, immunisation coverage for vaccine-preventable diseases, a critical component of child well-being, has shown an increase from 78% to 87% over the assessment period.

The report says that this in turn has also led to a reduction in malnutrition among slum children aged 0-5 years. As per the findings, stunting among these children declined from 34% in 2021 to 30% in 2024. Underweight children showed a reduction from 32% in 2021 to 29% in 2024.

Statement of SNEHA

Sushma Shende, programme director of Maternal and Child Health at SNEHA said, "We've closely partnered with the government’s Integrated Child Development Services and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation health services to address malnutrition and health issues among children in our areas. We firmly believe that a healthy child is a precious gift to a mother and a critical investment in building a healthy nation. As a mother, I take pride that we could guide and help so many mothers and their children live fitter and joyful lives.”

With more than 16,000 beneficiaries between 2021-2024, Maternal and Child Health programme was conducted across two vulnerable settlements in Mumbai. This includes conducting several activities among urban poor communities in Mankhurd, Govandi, and Dharavi, including nutrition counselling and identification and referral of child malnutrition in collaboration with ICDS and health system staff.

Sweety Thomas, the chief operating officer of the H T Parekh Foundation, said “It is often said it takes a village to raise a child. Through this project, which aimed to improve the health of our children, it was clear that an empowered and involved community can make a big difference in the health of a mother and in turn giving children a strong start in life.”

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