Convergence on Water Sanitation and Hygiene and ICDS


Convergence on Water Sanitation and Hygiene and ICDS

Nutrition cum Sanitation Camps

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017

 Women spend so much time looking after their husbands, children and others in the family that they ignore their own health. I have understood today that as women age they face many deficiencies; therefore looking after one’s own health is very important.-Chandravati, Karotia Camp

I learnt several things from this camp. One is that sprouts are a healthy form of iron and protein. The other is that we should change our habits, wash hands our hands with soap before and after a meal and make a healthy gruel for elderly and children using gram flour, soybean, milk and sugar. -Sahrunisha, IG Camp, Ashram

 By participating in this camp I learnt what foods are essential for the development of children- Jaya Devi, Rajasthani Camp, Sarita Vihar

Health and sanitation are closely linked. We need to take care of both cleanliness and nutrition. This is the road to good health-Laxmi Devi, Janta Jeewan Camp, Okhla




The Context

As part of CFAR’s intervention on improving sanitation services for urban poor communities focused work is being done to upgrade essential services, for vulnerable women including pregnant, lactating and elderly women, by strengthening community management to facilitate provisioning, behavior change and the adoption of safe sanitation practices.

In August 2016, a study was conducted with 163 women in six settlements of Delhi, namely, IG Camp, Begumpur, IG Camp Ashram, Karotiya camp Kalkaji, Rajasthani Camp and Sunlight Colony Old Seemapuri of Delhi’s Kalyanpuri Block 18 . Among those surveyed ninety (90) were identified as lactating mothers, thirty six (36) were pregnant mothers and four (4) were differently abled mothers.

The survey revealed that hand washing practices before and after defecation, before picking up infants, eating and cooking food and cleaning infants needed to be strengthened so that the possibility of infections, illness and diseases could be minimized.

To achieve this it was decided to make water, sanitation and hygiene (WSH) an integral part of the maternal and child healthcare services of the ICDS and Anganwadi services. This will be facilitated by community representatives drawn from the Community Management Committees (CMCs) and Mahila Pragati Manch (MPM), who will assist and support Anganwadi workers on educating pregnant, lactating women, adolescents and children on WSH, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and related issues.  They will also ensure that all women in need of maternal and child care services are aware of the programmes and services being provided by ICDS centres.

As part of  the celebrations on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, Nutrition cum Sanitation Camps were organized by CMCs and MPM with support from Anganwadi Centres and  CFAR in five settlements, Karotia Camp, Kalkaji, IG Camp, Begumpur, Janta Jeewan Camp, Okhla, Rajasthani Camp, Sarita Vihar and Kalyanpuri, Block 18.

The objective of these camps was to provide an overview on nutrition and the impact of specific foods on the health of pregnant, lactating and elderly women. Resource persons also spoke of the importance of personal hygiene during menstruation, purification of drinking water, use of ladles, washing hands before and after defecation and after garbage disposal. Specific information on the care of infants and lactating mothers was also given so that common diseases like diarrhea, cough and cold and stomach infections in children could be avoided.

Speaking on the importance of looking after oneself during pregnancy Ms. Anamika Singh, Nutrition expert said that, “Nutrition was essential for improving infant, child and maternal health, strengthening the immune system to fight diseases and ensuring safer pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy women need a balanced diet to fulfil the needs of the foetus and provide the strength and vitality that is required during labour; and for successful lactation. It is a myth that women need to eat twice the amount during pregnancy when what is needed is a balanced diet which will provide them necessary nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins, iron, fat, minerals, fibre and proteins. All these are easily available in green vegetables, gram flour, pulses, soya bean, milk and seasonal fruits.”

On the issue of care giving for infants, Ms. Priyanka Rani, Nutrition and Child Expert, said, “Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months lowers risk of diarrhoea, sudden infant death syndrome and obesity. Children with a poor diet run the risk of low body weight, motor developmental problems and poor academic performance. It is therefore important to ensure at children from a very young age are given nutritious food and vegetables.”

Dr. Poonam Tripathy, CDPO-East, urged the gathering to avail of the benefits that are being provided at the Anganwadis in their areas and said, “Please bring your children to Anganwadis. These centres not only provide nutritious food, an immunization programme and information on child care but also facilitate linkages to dispensaries. Adolescent girls can also seek information on personal hygiene in these centres. I come to all the centres in the East at least once a week. If you need any support please come and speak to me directly.”

The CMC members in Kalyanpuri, drew the attention of the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) and Anganwadi team to two malnourished children in the area, who had low body weight. The CDPO weighed the children and urged the mother to bring them regularly to the Anganwadi. She also said that she would link them up to the neighbouring dispensary in Khichdipur, where special care could be given to them.

The adolescents girls from Rajasthani Camp and Janta Jeewan camp raised many pertinent questions relating to menstrual hygiene including: remedies for ailments such as menstrual cramps, fatigue, excessive bleeding or mid month spotting. Experts while responding to their questions stressed on the importance of iron rich foods, yoga, use of fennel and carom seeds, adequate quantities of milk and the need to be physically active during menstruation.

The members of CMCs in all these locations pledged to join hands with the Anganwadi team in their settlements and support them in motivating the community to avail of the benefits and services they were providing.

Key Takeaways:

The CMC members will make a concerted effort to motivate pregnant and lactating women to enroll in Anganwadis.

They will reach out to the community with information on ICDS services, personal hygiene and MHM and also motivate residents to adopt safe sanitation practices.

The Anganwadi team will monitor all malnourished and underweight children by providing special care and facilitating links with the dispensary so that they receive adequate care.

A total of 322 women- 24 pregnant and 64 lactating women including: Karotia Camp-51 (5 pregnant and 12 lactating women); IG Camp-70 (8 pregnant and 26 lactating women); Rajasthani Camp-65 (3 pregnant and 6 lactating women); Janta Jeewan Camp -71 (3 pregnant and 10 lactating women); Kalyanpuri 18 Block-65 (5 pregnant and 10 lactating women)) were reached out during these five camps.