Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 23 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Procter & Gamble Health Limited announced today a 3-year collaboration with Tata Trusts for 'YES To POSHAN' a new program which aims to advance the nutritional status of women and children in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, under its flagship corporate social responsibility initiative SEHAT (meaning Health).
Malnutrition is a complex public health problem which has inter-generational repercussions. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 conducted in 2019, 16 out of the 22 states surveyed reported an increase in children below 5 years of age being underweight and severely wasted (low weight-for-height).
Similarly, 13 states recorded a surge in the percentage of stunted (short for their age) children under 5 years of age in comparison to the NFHS-4 (2015-16). In Andhra Pradesh alone, of all women between 15 and 49 years of age, as high as 58.8% were anaemic and 14.8% had a low Body Mass Index (BMI), highlighting the need for pointed interventions in the region.
This urgent need to ensure adequate nutrition in women and children in India prompted the Government's POSHAN Abhiyaan to reduce stunting, undernutrition, and low birth weight in children and anaemia amongst women and children.
Milind Thatte, Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Health Limited said, "P&G continues to step up and step forward to use our reach and resources and #LeadWithLove through acts of good that will have a lasting, positive impact on people and communities. SEHAT, our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative is a testament to our commitment to make a sustainable and significant difference to public health in India in collaboration with like-minded partners. We are delighted to partner with Tata Trusts for 'YES TO POSHAN' - a grass root level behavior change program - which aims to complement the government's efforts by promoting diet diversity and addressing the challenges of limited or age-inappropriate diet amongst Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) and children < 2 years."
The program will be executed across 5 villages in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh. Interventions will include surveys, growth monitoring, and a holistic behaviour change campaign to encourage the inclusion of various food groups in their diet and promote the cultivation of backyard fruits and vegetables.
These activities will take place in the form of interpersonal or one-to-one interactions, small groups, and community conversations, and also encourage male participation. The program will also facilitate the capacity building of anganwadi workers and POSHAN Sakhis, so they can conduct home visits and community-level meetings in their village.
Further, the POSHAN Sakhis will support frontline workers in identifying children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) to ensure timely referral to malnutrition treatment centres.
Dr. Rajan Sankar, Senior Advisor - Nutrition, Tata Trusts commented, "Tata Trusts is committed to combatting the problem of malnutrition and undernutrition in India. This requires collaborative action from different sectors, stakeholders and like-minded organisations, and a combination of determinants, such as access to fortified food, better public healthcare, clean water as also authentic education."
He continued, "Under 'Yes To POSHAN' with P&G Health, we will endeavour to sustainably increase diet diversity. These will be run through community involvement and convergence with local Government schemes and self-help groups to maximise the impact on-ground. Our team will support the implementation of the project in Andhra Pradesh and provide technical nutrition-specific oversight, thus driving empowerment, rural development to elevate the nutritional status of women and children in the local community."
Tata Trusts recognised the value of nutrition as a catalyst that can change the face of India for generations to come. Accordingly, nutrition was accorded due priority and brought centre-stage. Through a concrete and comprehensive strategy for holistic nutrition in India, the Trusts work centre around products, such as fortified food; platforms, such as ICDS; and policy, advocacy, and data, for improving nutrition governance; with innovation, scale, and impact being the three underlying drivers of action.
In Andhra Pradesh, Tata Trusts has been working with the State government since 2015 towards community empowerment and improving the overall quality of living through an integrated multi-thematic approach in the region.
 National Family Health Survey - 5. NFHS/NFHS-5_FCTS/NFHS-5%20State%20Factsheet%20Compendium_Phase-I.pdf" href="http://rchiips.org/NFHS/NFHS-5_FCTS/NFHS-5%20State%20Factsheet%20Compendium_Phase-I.pdf" rel="noopener" target="_blank">http://rchiips.org/NFHS/NFHS-5_FCTS/NFHS-5 State Factsheet Compendium_Phase-I.pdf.
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