Rajasthan

Photo: J.Siddiqui

Rajasthan is one of India’s poorest states, with one in five children under five in this state suffering from wasting - meaning that they are severely underweight, and their bodies functions have become severely compromised. They are less resistant to illness and diseases, and their lives are in danger. Rajasthan is ranked the sixth worth state in India for infant mortality, with 1 in every 15 children dying before his or her first birthday.

Our work in Rajasthan

Fight Hunger Foundation has been working in the Baran district of Rajasthan since 2011. The living standards in Baran are poor, for most of the population, there is a lack of basic facilities, poor hygiene and sanitation and a high rates of migration.  Our work has focussed mainly around the Sahariya tribe, one of the many indigenous tribes of Rajasthan. Levels of malnutrition amongst children in tribal populations are often even higher.

In Baran, the main source of income for 82% of families is agriculture, which is of course very dependent on the seasons. If the rains don’t come, production is severely affected, and many families go hungry. Fight Hunger Foundation has been working with communities to raise awareness about the signs of malnutrition, and how to treat and prevent it. We teach mothers about good nutrition and improved child care practices, which can both help to prevent malnutrition.

We have also trained community health workers to identify malnutrition in young children by using the MUAC measurement (a device which measures the child’s arm, and if it is under a certain measurement, the child is deemed malnourished. Anything less than 11.5 cm indicates a child's life is in danger from acute malnutrition) and how to check for oedema (painful swellings in the feet and legs which occur when a child is malnourished).

Our work also includes the follow up of children who have been treated for malnutrition, to ensure that they are on the road to recovery and will not again fall ill.

 

 

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