Introduction

Sampushti is a dedicated nutrition initiative owned by Development Consortium (DC), aimed at promoting the mental and physical health of rural children in Hardoi district, Uttar Pradesh. By addressing iron deficiency, Sampushti seeks to empower adolescents to reach their full potential, improving their educational performance and future health outcomes.

Background

Initiated in response to the alarming rates of anaemia in India, especially among adolescents, Sampushti was developed to counter the profound health challenges this condition presents. With over 59.1% of adolescent girls affected by anemia, the project targets this vulnerable group to enhance their health and educational performance, thereby safeguarding their future and potential for safe motherhood.


Goals and Objectives

The objectives of Sampushti include:

  • Reducing the prevalence of adolescent malnutrition and iron deficiency anemia.
  • Enhancing knowledge and behavior concerning women’s health and personal hygiene.
  • Developing and disseminating localized communication tools and modules.
  • Fostering behavioral changes that can be sustained and passed on to future generations.
  • Creating a self-sustaining ecosystem that supports ongoing community health improvements.

Implementation Strategy

Through our Adolescent Health Awareness and Home Based Nutrition Care initiatives, we focus on leveraging Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) along with Behavior Change Communication (BCC) strategies to set the foundation for a healthier future for our future generations.

Under these initiatives, we have so far conducted health camps for hundreds of adolescents and infants across 17 villages across the Hardoi district. Our efforts have led to a remarkable increase in awareness of anemia symptoms, from 3% to 86% and a significant shift in the perception of anemia symptoms among adolescents along with a 22 percent reduction in anemia incidence.

Sampushti works with a five-fold strategy in improving health and battling anemia in the country. This strategy includes education, awareness and acceptance of the issue of anemia and malnutrition and the need for tackling the underlying causes of the same, educating and promoting the optimization and nutritional uptake of iron through supplements such as Iron folic tablets and moringa supplements, to encourage and create ownership for one's own health and improve one’s health, to create engagement with key stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, and more, and finally, being able to establish capacity building and support to ensure the continual betterment of the community.

Sampushti employs a multifaceted strategy to combat anemia and promote health:

  • Education on anemia and malnutrition, emphasizing the need to address these issues comprehensively.
  • Promotion of iron uptake through nutritional supplements like Iron-folic tablets and moringa supplements.
  • Engagement with key stakeholders including students, parents, and educators to foster ownership of health.
  • Capacity building within communities to ensure continuous improvement in health standards.

Impact and Future Direction

The project aims to reduce the prevalence of Adolescent malnutrition (improvement in BMI), reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia, improve knowledge and behaviour change for women’s health and personal hygiene, and create a set of Communication toolkits/modules that are localised in context and delivery.

The project envisions the acceptance of F+ food as the new norm of overall good health, improvements in lifestyle & behaviour changes in adolescents which can be passed onto the next generation, and an inclusive growth of an enabled ecosystem that is self-sustained.

Since its inception, Sampushti has made significant strides in promoting adolescent health:

  • Between 2023 and 2024, the project successfully conducted health camps for 1200 adolescent beneficiaries from close to 900 families in 17 villages and 3 Gram Panchayats. It achieved significant improvements in awareness and knowledge related to anaemia, with the percentage of adolescents identifying anaemia symptoms increasing from 3% to 86% post-camp.
  • Conducted health camps in 17 villages, reaching 1,200 adolescents and their families, resulting in a dramatic increase in anemia awareness from 3% to 86%.
  • CImproved knowledge and attitudes towards anemia and health, reducing the incidence of anemia by 22%.

Alongside health camps, Sampushti also conducted several sessions on anaemia awareness and health in schools across Hardoi in an attempt to drive up awareness on the issue. These sessions are not only engaging but also provide safe spaces for students to improve their knowledge and feel free from any form of taboo that may come from topics such as menstrual health and hygiene.

Sampushti continues to drive change in the Hardoi district through its targeted health awareness and nutrition care initiatives. By equipping adolescents with the knowledge and resources to manage their health, DC’s project is laying the groundwork for healthier future generations, ultimately contributing to the broader goal of a healthier India.

The project aims to reduce the prevalence of Adolescent malnutrition (improvement in BMI), reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia, improve knowledge and behaviour change for women’s health and personal hygiene, and create a set of Communication toolkits/modules that are localised in context and delivery.