Authors: Neelmani Singh a public well being skilled with greater than a decade working expertise in Diet program. Anand Kumar is a Public Well being Skilled in India with a decade working expertise in City Well being, HSS & RMNCH+A Companies in India. Sanjeev Kumar is a public well being skilled with a decade working expertise with a number of State Well being Programs in India.

Malnourishment has lengthy been silent emergency in India. Proof means that there are a number of components, working independently or together, which can be chargeable for poor dietary standing among the many ladies in Indian populace. These embrace lack of entry to sufficient and nutritious meals, poor hygienic practices, infections reminiscent of diarrhoea and helminths, and gender and sophistication disparities. As a result of which, it’s seen all through the life cycle and is most acute throughout childhood, adolescent age, being pregnant, and lactation.

From a dietary perspective, pregnant and lactating ladies are among the many most susceptible teams. Subsequently, these teams of girls should be offered an sufficient provide of micronutrients because the preconception interval to make sure optimum nutrient transmission to the foetus and, in flip, to the yet-to-born offspring. Proof additionally means that the maternal diet throughout antenatal considerably impacts foetal development and being pregnant consequence. Furthermore, a big affiliation was discovered between continual undernutrition and being pregnant consequence – each for the mom and the offspring, for instance -In India, 20% of infants born yearly are as low delivery weight (LBW).

The Union and State Governments in India are always striving to enhance the dietary standing of girls of reproductive age. The efforts have yielded a big discount in ladies’s undernutrition, however issues of chubby and weight problems proceed to rise on this demographic part. The Nationwide Household Well being Survey 2015-16 primarily based examine entails  that the double burden of malnutrition (Undernutrition and Weight problems) amongst mother-child pairs in India is  6%.

The continuum of Care method is central to all dietary interventions for ladies. In  2013, the Authorities of India adopted the continuum of care method and developed a method for Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Little one, and Adolescent Well being (RMNCH+A). Beneath which, one among intervention is Iron and Folic Acid supplementation, which is a extremely efficient intervention to battle malnutrition, distributed to adolescents and to pregnant ladies throughout Antenatal Care Examine-ups.

In 2019, the Authorities of India developed a method to eradicate Anaemia (Anaemia Mukt Bharat) underneath the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN) Abhiyaan, to speed up the anaemia discount price (lower than 1% between 2005-2015). This technique has enabled the well being system to resolve supply-side obstacles in some ways. Intensifying demand technology by means of year-round Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) Campaigns is one among them. It might be additional scaled by means of convergence between the completely different group well being and non-health applications, with width and depth.

Nationwide Livelihood is a non-health program with a community-level ladies’s Self Assist Group (SHG) community. In Bihar, one among such community, referred to as, JEEVIKA), has large availability all through the state. Such teams are self-governed and empowered to plan and execute actions for his or her native wants. Jeevika group members belong to the native communities, so rolling the BCC interventions utilizing this platform might be efficient, contemplating the improved acceptability of native voices to the native inhabitants. As Jeevika facilitates ladies for revenue technology and accessing the advantages of social safety schemes. Additional this platform of SHG might be prolonged for organising Annaprasan (weaning ceremony), Saas-Bahu sammelan, and distribution of Nayi pahal package (Household Planning Package meant for the newlywed).

Native governance our bodies, together with Panchayati Raj Establishments, considerably affect well being & its determinants, together with diet companies in communities. So, the members of such establishments  reaching out to the communities for dietary companies could be prudent in producing demand for women-specific dietary companies/ practices.

The aforementioned native governance  our bodies and SHGs are the important hyperlinks between the rightsholders and the obligation bearers who can enhance the protection, continuity, high quality, and depth (C2IQ) of group well being & diet applications. Such establishments can increase group consciousness on its rights and tasks and  avail the nutrition-related companies inside group. It may be prudent in uprooting the misbeliefs, false impression in regards to the dietary interventions.

The union and state governments acknowledged the native governance our bodies and SHG because the change brokers in direction of enhancing “Group primarily based dietary companies for ladies”. Resilient intersectoral coordination between the present major care avenues and these change brokers might be extremely efficient in producing demand for group primarily based dietary interventions.

Village Well being Sanitation & Diet Committee (VHSNC) is one such avenue on the “income village” stage, which is empowered to make well being and diet plan for the native want. Within the committee structure, it’s obligatory to have illustration from native our bodies. Beneath this committee ambit, Village Well being Sanitation and Diet Day (VHSND) is provisioned to be organized month-to-month in each village. On this present day, the respective Accredited Social Well being Activist (ASHA), Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), Anganwadi Employee (AWW), SHG chief, Dad or mum Instructor Affiliation /Mom Instructor Affiliation & village consultant of any community-based organisation, together with native our bodies consultant is meant to collect and ship their set of actions for well being, sanitation and diet companies. Nudging the ladies to hunt ANC care, adhere to IFA supplementation and handle information & meals taboos on the significance of food regimen range by SHG leaders might be simply carried out on this present day. Prior proof additionally means that pregnant ladies usually tend to adhere to IFA programs if their husband attends ANC. Contemplating the supply of various community-level stakeholders, this follow of husband companionship throughout ANC might be simply promoted. It’s also extremely possible that the higher coordination of native our bodies, SHG and group well being employees can affect the group perception system in a lot efficient method to handle malnutrition amongst ladies.


Native our bodies and SHGs have nice potential to impression ladies’s dietary practices inside communities. Therefore, these establishments may function vital catalysts in creating demand for group primarily based dietary companies. Nevertheless, regardless of acknowledging their potential, establishing and implementing a resilient intersectoral coordination mechanism between native our bodies, SHG and first care equipment stays a problem.