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Project: Environment
Sustainable Well Being Initiative

Introduction

Maintaining a healthy environment is central to improving quality of life and life expectancy. Our approach focuses on the environmental factors that decrease the likelihood of illness and death.

Challenge


  • Malnutrition is the cause of 69% of the deaths in children below the age of 5 yrs in India (UNICEF Survey, 2019)
  • Around 27% of the children are underweight (low weight for the age) 17% of the children are wasted (low weight for height) and 32% are stunted (low height for age)
  • Annually 1.5 million children in India die from diarrhea and other waterborne illness
  • Only 44% of households have access to tap water and only 32% have access to treated tap water
  • India has a huge waste management problem with trash choking its ecosystem and posing a health hazard

Solution

  • Conduct community outreach events that cover topics such as sanitation, first aid, nutrition, handwashing, menstrual hygiene, toilet practices, and food choices
  • Spreading awareness of waste management, collection methods, and treatment of disposal of waste
  • Creating kitchen and herb gardens.


Success Story

Maternal health has a direct impact on newborn well being. Malnourished women often give birth to babies with a low birth weight (LBW). A single bout of diarrhea can cause LBW babies to suffer acute malnutrition. Therefore, it is very important that families have access to clean water, energy-dense nutritious food, and proper sanitation.

Ekam detected a high incidence of iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women during prenatal visits at Chengalpattu Medical College. The Ekam staff then worked to develop a program to fight malnutrition using education and awareness camps to teach women how to grow their own vegetables. Ekam also provided land, seeds, and other resources. Once the community became aware of the value of good food and gained access to nutritious food, iron deficiency anemia levels declined.


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