Consultation Meeting on Early Growth Failure-Identification and Management in the Community

National Centre of Excellence (NCoE), Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) & associated Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, New Delhi with support of UNICEF organised one day Consultation Meeting on Early Growth failure-Identification and Management in the Community on October 31st, 2019 at Hotel Metropolitan, New Delhi.

This meeting was attended by 37 expert/consultants from MOHFW, NITI AYOG, Professors and Directors of different Medical colleges of India (Delhi, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala), BPNI, UNICEF, Save the Children and IPE Global. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss evidences related to early growth failure identification and management using existing government platforms.
The following recommendations were formulated for the development of Technical and Operational guidelines such as Infants under 6 months need to be classified according to their nutritional risk into three categories- Not at risk, Moderate risk for malnutrition and Severe risk for malnutrition. Criteria for identifying at nutrition risk infants with sickness as per IMNCI guidelines; breastfeeding and feeding problems; maternal nutrition/health and psychosocial issues; growth monitoring problems identified during VHND. Use of Existing Government platforms for utilisation and identification & manage at nutrition risk infants was also discussed. Severe nutrition risk infants need to be referred and managed in a health facility with staffs trained in IYCF/MAA to provide lactation support (helping mothers whose babies fail to gain adequate weight even after frontline workers support, helping mothers to breastfeed in cross cradle position, relactation by SST for mothers with lactation failure) and moderate risk for malnutrition should be managed at community by IYCF/MAA trained frontline workers. Capacity building of Community level workers on anthropometry, measurements, assessment of sickness, breastfeeding problems, provision of continuum of care to all preterm /LBW (extended care of growth monitoring/KMC /supplements after discharge from SCNU) was important aspect discussed for any successful implementation of the program. Lastly, situations where there are no prospects of breastfeeding, empowering caregivers to feed with good hygiene, without over dilution and with katori/paladai, discouragement of bottle feeding as its potential source of infections among infants was discussed.