Malnutrition is linked to half of the child deaths in India. At least 43% of Indian children under the age of three suffer from malnutrition.
CINI aims to reach young mothers early in their pregnancy. A child who is malnourished in pregnancy or in the first two years of life will not reach its full potential. Inadequate nourishment during pregnancy can result in brain damage, still birth or neo-natal death. A child who is malnourished in the critical first two years of life has increased susceptibility to illness and restricted capacity for education.
The problems of malnutrition are not only a lack of food. Many families with limited food do not share it equally. Mothers and infants, especially girls, are rarely priorities. Traditionally women eat last, so when food is scarce, boys may receive more than girls, men more than women, older children more than younger children. Diet is affected by both lack of understanding about nutrition as well as availability. For example, less than half of Indian children under six months are exclusively breast fed.
CINI’s nutrition projects focus on educating women and adolescents, especially pregnant and breastfeeding mothers as well as their extended family. The health workers are local women who have been trained in nutrition and healthcare by CINI.