Sunaina’s Journey to Overcome Malnutrition

Sunaina’s story is a good example of how Asha’s ‘Ladoo and Sattoo’ Programme’ coupled with micronutrient supplements, is helping to combat malnutrition and anaemia among slum residents in Delhi.

Sunaina is a 25 yrs old married woman living in a one-room shanty in Kalkaji Slum with her husband, two children and Mother-in-Law. Her husband works as a Rikshaw puller. His meagre monthly income of 6000-7000 INR is insufficient to meet the family’s needs. Once their family size increased and the children grew up, they were forced to go on a poor and inadequate diet which did not meet their nutritional needs. Sunaina suffered the most as she was the last member to eat in the family, and that too with leftovers. Many times, she had to go to bed on an empty stomach. She constantly felt body weakness and tiredness, so she visited the Asha clinic at Kalkaji. The Asha health team found her weight is 30 kg, has haemoglobin of 10gm and a BMI of 16. They immediately enrolled her on Asha’s unique ‘Ladoo and Sattoo’ programme – a special supplemental nutrition programme with high protein, high energy and high-calorie sweets and drinks for combating malnutrition and anemia amongst women and children. Under their direct supervision, she took nutritional drinks and sweets five days a week and micronutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron, and other mineral and vitamin supplements. The Asha health team monitored her weight and haemoglobin level at regular intervals. Through the timely intensive treatment for almost six months, her haemoglobin level reached 12.5gm; she gained weight to 35kg and her BMI to 18.6. Sunaina continues the treatment under the Asha team’s guidance. Sunaina is thankful to the Asha health team for their timely support in combatting malnutrition and regaining health to lead a more fulfilling life. Malnutrition is one of the health challenges addressed by Asha in its slum communities across Delhi, as poverty and lack of access to nutritious food are still burning issues here.

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