Evidence based Multi Sectoral Nutrition
Prof. N. C. Narayanan
M. Tech Project -II (TD 696)
Health & Nutrition
The present report explores the challenges and problems associated with Multi Sectoral Nutrition Planning (MSNP) and focuses on context specific and evidence based district nutrition action planning in high burden district of Assam. The empirical study was further concentrated to the Paschim Mangaldai development block of the Darrang district. The field survey composed of 24 hours dietary recall, semi structured interview of mothers and Dais in the Char (flood basins) and non-Char areas. It was found that there is poor diet and inadequate Infant Child and Young Feeding (IYCF) practices in rural Assam and Darrang district. Poor health infrastructure and roads connectivity contributes to undernutrition in rural Assam. The problem of poor health infrastructure and road connectivity is a localised problem inside a district, in pockets like Jaljali region. It was observed that impact of poor sanitation further deteriorates during the flooding in the Char areas. These areas also have high incidence of early marriage leading to early pregnancy and poor education. As almost all the high burden districts in Assam have considerable area as Char areas (flood basin), the nutrition action planning needs to be flood basin specific. The role of Dais, who are prominent in Char areas (flood basins) were also found to be critical in the nutrition scenario of the region. District nutrition action plan should train Dais and leverage their knowledge for faster acceptance of the nutrition interventions. These findings from the secondary data analysis and field survey will form a useful evidence-base for the multi sectoral nutrition planning for nutritionally high burden districts of Assam. A more detail study involving multiple 24 dietary recall along with food frequency questionnaire will provide better insight to the undernutrition situation in the Darrang district.