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Nutrition International supports government of Madhya Pradesh in digitisation of DASTAK Abhiyan

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The campaign that will run till 18 August 2021 has been supported by Nutrition International

The ongoing DASTAK Abhiyan launched in Madhya Pradesh is an approach to deliver a package of essential health and nutritional services to address under-5 child mortality and morbidity in the state. The campaign that will run till 18 August 2021 has been supported by Nutrition International.

Nutrition International has been supporting the campaign in its planning and strategy formation, orientation, monitoring, review and development of information education and communication materials.

DASTAK Abhiyaan, led by the state’s Department of Health and Women and Child Development, aims to proactively identify and promptly manage malnourished children and deliver essential health and nutrition services to under five children, with the help of frontline workers including ANMs, ASHA and Anganwadi workers. The frontline workers knock door-to-door to identify families with children up to the age of five years and screen them for common diseases such as diarrhoea, severe anaemia, severe acute malnutrition and this time even COVID-19. Once any kind of malnutrition or disease is diagnosed, arrangements are made for their referral and treatment. Through the DASTAK Abhiyaan, the frontline workers also distribute iron and folic acid syrup for anaemia prevention, oral rehydration solution (ORS) packets and zinc tablets to manage diarrhoea and provide the dose of vitamin A to the child.

Since 2006-07 Nutrition International has been extending its technical expertise to support the government in the successful implementation of the DASTAK Abhiyan.

Mansi Shekhar, Nutrition International’s State Program Representative for Madhya Pradesh says, “This year too, Nutrition International is proud to partner with the government of Madhya Pradesh in enabling the DASTAK Abhiyan across 52 districts, reaching 8.1 million children through 177,000 frontline workers. We are also supporting in training the government officials in the use of the digital field monitoring tool, which allows real time monitoring of the campaign.”

A new feature of this year’s DASTAK Abhiyaan is the digitisation of field monitoring tool. Nutrition International in collaboration with the National Health Mission (NHM) has developed a digital field monitoring tool which enables real-time monitoring of the program’s activities across all the 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh and helps in identification of low-performing areas, thereby enabling effective review of the program and development of strategies to address barriers. In addition to the development of the tool, Nutrition International has also supported in training state and district level officials and sharing analysis of data with government for timely and corrective action. This digital tool is designed such that it can also be accessed offline, thereby enabling entry of data even when internet connectivity is inconsistent.

The Health Department is monitoring and reviewing the DASTAK Abhiyan closely on the digital monitoring tool, through back checks and spot checks of the sessions held in the villages.

Dr Mahesh Malviya, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Neemuch as he shared his thoughts on the campaign said, “The beauty of the DASTAK Abhiyaan is that it is reaching to the doorstep of each under-five child in the village, which leads to provision of health and nutrition services through the existing workforce of Health and Women & Child Development departments. Through this program we want to improve the major determinants of child mortality.”

Madhya Pradesh has a high stunting rate of 42%. 3.3 million of under five children are stunted and 2.7 million are wasted. The state’s DASTAK Abhiyan presents an opportunity to identify cases of severe malnutrition and address them early on.

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