Help tribal Children against Hidden Hunger and Silent Deaths

By Bibhu Mohanty

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SAMBANDH is non-profit organization initiated in 1992 by Dr. Bibhu Kalyan Mohanty, who has been selected as Senior Ashoka Fellow in

2009 from India and Dr. Puspangini Mohanty. His pioneer work on
the health sector has demonstrated the conservation of medicinal plants,
the revival of local and traditional health practices and facilitating
entrepreneurship among tribals using the traditional knowledge for
their livelihood covering around more than fifty thousand tribals in
Eastern India. SAMBANDH has initiated the work among the tribals
inside Similipal sanctuary in Orissa, India against endemic or chronic
hunger, caused by poverty and lack of access to balanced diets
including both energy-rich and protein-rich foods, leading to protein energy
malnutrition. This has resulted in reduction of malnutrition
deaths among children in the area.



Introduction :

A vast section of the underprivileged still lives in the dark ages, where hidden hunger and silent deaths
are a grim reality. Amongst other indicators, food insecurity and nutritional insecurity are the
manifestations of the climate change affecting lives and livelihood for those who are on the periphery of
the nation’s consciousness. During 2006 – 2007, malnutrition contributed to seven million Indian
children dying, nearly two million before the age of
one. According to the National Family Health Survey
2005 – 06 (NFHS-3) 30 percent of newborn are of
low birth weight, 56 percent of married women are
anemic and 79 percent of children age 6–35
months are anemic. Causal factors relate to the
growing climate change induced vulnerability
creating chronic poverty and silent deaths. One of
the most dismaying examples of deaths occurring
due to malnutrition and poor health in the recent
past was in the state of Orissa in Eastern India.
Between May and July 2013, in Simlipal Biosphere
Reserve in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa, 34 children died of severe malnutrition and subsequent
infections. Reasons for these deaths as finding out were varied from malnutrition and poverty to
inadequate public health services.


Land of Hidden Starvation: Unseen Truth of Gudgudia Panchayat, in Similipal Sanctuary, Orissa, India



Unseen Truth of Gudgudia Panchayat, in Similipal Sanctuary, Orissa, India
The key factors behind food insecurity remain central concerns for chronic malnourished tribals in
Similipal Biosphere in Jaipur Block, Mayurbhanj District, Orissa, India. When food insecurity interacts
with health care problems it translates into nutrition insecurity. 38% of children under the age of 3 years
suffer from diarrhea which is a fatal killer as children die due to dehydration. 41.8% of children are fully
immunized. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Gudgudia Panchayat, Mayurbhanj District is at 88 per
1000 while the same in Orissa is at 75 per 1000 live birth in 2012-13 as against the national average of
58. Over 60% of infant deaths occur at the neonatal stage in the first month of life maternal mortality
rate in the state - 358 per 1,00,000 live births- is higher than the national level. Only 13% pregnant
women opt for institutional deliveries. More than half of infant deaths are caused by diseases such as
Malaria (67 percent), Diarrhea (61 percent) Pneumonia (52 percent), and Measles (45 percent) in the
same area. The major causes of
chronic malnutrition among the
women and children are related to
their lack of health and nutrition
education, absence of health
services, low birth weight, infections
and diseases such as diarrhea and
malaria, remoteness with lack of any
public transportation and above all,
not having avenues for livelihood both farm and non-farm. Having no/less purchasing power,
expenditure towards health is very abysmally low. Only 63 % households have access to drinking water
facility from open wells and tube wells but the quality of water is very poor.


SAMBANDH's Intervention:




Child survival through sustainable nutritional and food security coupled with sanitary
environment, adequate health services, and knowledgeable care to ensure a healthy, active life for all
individuals.
- Changes in health seeking behavior amongst women and girls especially on nutrition, health,
hygiene and safe drinking water through training programs also involving traditional birth
attendants and local healers, distributing Information Education Communication (IEC) material
-Meeting nutritional needs and emergency health services as required by production of fortified
supplementary food, the supply of seed kits for kitchen herbal gardens etc.
- Food and nutrition security by taking up land development works, agro-horticulture, kitchen
herbal garden, changes in cropping pattern, grain banks and income generation programs.
Strategies:
-Reduce the neonatal mortality from 98 to 40 per 1000 live births and the Under-5 mortality rate
from 104 to 75 per 1000 live births.
- Reduce the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the area to 30 per 1000 live births by 2020
- Reduction of under-5 malnutrition from 54.9% to 35%.
- Ensure access to quality antenatal and postnatal care to all mothers with documentation and
promotion of local health traditions.
-Promote institutional deliveries or at least ensure deliveries assisted by trained/ skilled birth
attendants.
-Strengthen reproductive rights, women's empowerment issues, gender equity and male
- Achieve 30% reduction in moderate and severe malnutrition by 2020 and eliminate severe
malnutrition among young children
-Protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding of infants for six months and continued
breastfeeding with safe, appropriate and adequate complementary feeding up to two years of
age or beyond.
-Promote appropriate diets and healthy lifestyles through nutrition and health education to
improve work capacity and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.
- Community-based approaches to monitoring and improve drinking water quality generation
programs on safe water.


The beginning has been made. The SAMABNDH will support the Adivasi at least for the next three
years, till they can help themselves. Please also help and spend.
Concrete help:
35 Euro are enough to pay a community consultant so that he is able to advise women and their
families a whole month
50 Euro help, to provide 365 Families in 7 villages with seeds and seedlings for their kitchen
gardens
74 Euro are enough to support the Adivasi families with urgently needed medicine for 2 months.
You can link SAMBANDH to donors or any foundations that they are interested in supporting.



Campaign Details


About Campaigner
BM
Bibhu Mohanty
 
About Beneficiary
S
SAMBANDH

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