Yelburga Taluk, Karnataka – In a pioneering effort to combat child malnutrition, the End Malnutrition Initiative (EMI) has made remarkable progress in Yelburga Taluk, Koppal District, Karnataka. Spearheaded by the Edward & Cynthia Institute of Public Health (ECIPH), a unit of CHD Group, in collaboration with the Advanced Technical Co-operation Center with Yenepoya University, this initiative has demonstrated the potential to bring severe and moderate acute malnutrition among children under five years of age to near-zero levels.
The EMI was designed as a social responsibility program and piloted with support from the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. The project, operating on a public-private partnership model, aimed to not only reduce the caseload of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) but also alleviate the burden of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).
In a span of just seven months, EMI showcased remarkable results. The number of SAM children decreased from 31 in August 2022 to a mere 11 in March 2023. Similarly, the count of MAM children dropped significantly from 1067 in September 2022 to 329 in March 2023.
The success of the program can be attributed to a multifaceted approach that included health promotion, the provision of low-cost nutritious dietary food, meticulous monitoring and evaluation, daily weight and weekly height record-keeping, ad-hoc supervision, and the active involvement of community stakeholders, including retired individuals who contributed to better nutrition.
The End Malnutrition Initiative has not only transformed the lives of children in Yelburga Taluk but has also set an inspiring example of how public-private partnerships and community engagement can lead to tangible improvements in public health.