The Bal Balwaan Infant Malnutrition Program
In 2016-17 over 500 infants died of starvation and malnutrition in the taluka (sub-district) of Mokhada.
The comprehensive, holistic and targeted Bal Balwaan Mission program aims to eradicate infant malnutrition in the Mokhada taluka (district), an area prone to the highest incidence of malnutrition deaths In the Palghar district with a disastrous infant mortality rate of 44 per 1000 live births.
Gabriel Project Mumbai is partnering with early childhood nutritionists and pediatricians, local village council leadership, and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to implement a holistic and integrated child malnutrition program. This program’s objective is to impact 2,000 families and will directly support families with the sustained recovery of children diagnosed with severe malnutrition (SAM), moderate malnutrition (MAM) , and who are severely underweight (SUV)- a total of 598 children.
Bal Balwaan, “healthy child” in Marathi, upholds the child’s basic human right to food and nutrition and focuses on strengthening communities’ ability to sustain their own health and nutritional needs for their children.
The program tackles cross cutting needs and addresses the root problems of malnutrition and food insecurity- targeting direct nutritional gaps through the provision of nutrient rich meals, vitamins, and access to medical check ups. Bal Balwaan builds community resilience and capacities through community engagement in awareness raising and education activities around parental guidance and childhood nutrition, maternal health, disease prevention and health and hygiene, and supporting sustainable livelihood opportunities for women.