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A comprehensive approach to community welfare: growth monitoring and the role of women in Jamkhed.

Authors
  • Arole, M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Indian journal of pediatrics
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1988
Volume
55
Issue
1 Suppl
Identifiers
PMID: 3391656
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The Comprehensive Rural Health Care Project at Jamkhed services 175 villages with a total population of almost 200,000. The program actively encourages community participation, self-help, and integration of solutions to all types of problems within the community. The project started as a mobile clinic which periodically visited each village. Villagers participated in weighing and nutritionally assessing the children. Drought hit the area in 1972 and the lack of weight gain in children caused communities to establish special feeding programs for the poor children. Growth monitoring has helped villagers to understand growth-development relationships and has been an important tool for diagnosing illnesses in children with no apparent malnourishment problems. A comparison of mean weights between children in 1975 and 1985 was performed. In 1985 less than 6% of the children were moderately or severely malnourished whereas in 1975, 30% were considered malnourished. Women villagers were strongly opposed to the cessation of this program. The most difficult problem has been to facilitate the realization among health workers that growth monitoring is an important tool. Also difficult was the introduction of weighing scales into a superstitious community. When given the responsibility of growth monitoring, however, communities rise to the challenge and participate fully.

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