Aryan is healthy and is thriving

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Two-year-old Aryan grew from 7 kg to 11 kg after being fed RUTF and locally available nutritious food. His mother Udisara is so happy that she was able to save her child. Udisara was not aware of the nutritious food available in local level and used to feed junk foods to her children, out of love as children used to enjoy eating the packaged food.

Along with nutritious food, she also learnt about the antenatal care services, care of a new-born and self-care after giving birth to a child. when she was pregnant with Aryan. In her previous pregnancies, she never went for ANC check-ups and was not aware of any of these things.

Married at the age of 17, at 28, Udisara is the mother of five children, four daughters and a son.  Her husband lives in India for work. In her last pregnancy, she received ANC services. She went to the nearby health post for delivery, and she gave birth to healthy twins, a son, and a daughter. However, as time passed, she could not properly take care of the youngest children in terms of care, support, hygiene, sanitation as her husband was away and she was overloaded with chores.

As a mother of young twins, Udisara was invited to join a caregiver ‘s group by Save the Children’s Early Start Project. She started attending the sessions on regular basis where she learnt to deal with stress while raising children, as well as the negative effects of physical punishment and psychosocial aggression on children. After realizing the importance of proper care and support to young children, she did her best to take care of them and started asking for the support with her in-laws. In the sessions, she also learnt to prepare nutritious food from locally available ingredients, age-appropriate timing, and duration of feeding for children. These sessions armed her with knowledge that she wished she knew when she was a new mother and gave her confidence to do the best for all her children.

During a group session, she weighed her twin children and came to know that her son, Aryan was severely malnourished with only 7 kg at the age of two. She took her son to the Health Post as suggested by the local social mobilizer and psychosocial counsellor. The health post provided porridge (RUTF- Ready to Use Therapeutic Food) for two weeks. After getting RUTF four times from the health post, her son, Aryan, gained weight from 7 kg to 11 kg in two and a half months. Now she makes food with locally available ingredient for her children.

About the project:

The Early Start project is being implemented in two municipalities (Aathbis and Chamundabridasaini) of Dailekh district with the overall objective of "Young children (0-3 years old) survive and thrive in a healthy, protective, stimulating environment, and develop to their full potential." The project activities include the conduction of caregivers' group sessions by trained social mobilizers/local facilitators to develop their understanding of early stimulation, positive parenting, building brains, promoting health and nutrition of children and pregnant women.