India – What we do
The Foundation for Mother & Child Health (FMCH) was set up to help children achieve the best possible outcome in life. We do this through the provision of health, nutrition and education programmes for mothers, their children and community health workers in two very different countries: India and Indonesia.
The Foundation for Mother & Child India (FMCH-India) aims at empowering every mother and her child from economically vulnerable communities, to make the right food choice by provision of accurate knowledge and intensive services. All resources are directed towards innovative community-based nutrition specific interventions.
We focus on encouraging preventative health, balanced nutrition and child developmental practices. To do this a holistic approach is adopted – educating and empowering mothers and children in their social environment. FMCH India has a team made up of national staff that lead the organisation and participate at grass root level.
Set up in Mumbai in 2006 it remained a small organisation until between 2010 and 2013 it expanded into other communities in Mumbai. Over the past four years it has developed into its current role as a leader in Mother and Child Health and Nutrition in Mumbai.
Our impact in the local community?
FMCH India works tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and their children in the community. Our strategic plan is for sustainability and community empowerment.
At present FMCH implements a comprehensive community based First 1000 Days’ programme that aims to prevent and treat malnutrition. The FMCH team is implementing the First 1000 Day Programme across four locations in Mumbai, through either FMCH-run community centres (Dhobi Ghat & Powai) or Government run pre-primary centres (locally referred to as Aanganwadi Centres in Kurla West and Bhiwandi).
FMCH India run community centres cater to a population of 10,000 people. The Bhiwandi program (also known as the Urban Nutrition Initiative) caters to a population of 140,000 people.
As part of the 1000 Days’ initiative, FMCH India works directly with pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under the age of two. The team works one-on-one with the mother and child but also works intensively with her family to ensure she receives all the care and support she requires through this critical phase of her life. The team also works with the community at large, offering a varied range of ‘education’ programmess to ensure accurate and actionable knowledge is made available. Large scale awareness events on health, hygiene and nutrition are also regularly organised in order to help spread and embed the messages.
In 2015, FMCH India launched the FMCH Training Centre through which it trains healthcare professionals, other non-profits, and government agencies towards incorporating nutrition sensitive interventions. Through this training centre which offers a bundle of training programmes and hand-holding services to ‘partner entities,’ FMCH India has been able to reach a much larger audience very quickly. In the first year alone FMCH was able to reach over 5000 people.
The FMCH model and its programmes were developed to be scalable and replicable to other areas around India, and have sound monitoring and evaluation practices in place.
The First 1000-Day programme provides a number of different services:
- A First 1000-Day Clinic: operates out of FMCH India Community Centres where families have access to services such as growth monitoring of babies and provision of food supplements for mothers and babies. Experts such as doctors, nurses, nutritionists and social workers are present and offer free advice and consultations.
- Pregnancy Club: a certificate course for pregnant women where they learn about a number of topics such as taking care of themselves during pregnancy, warning signs during pregnancy, breastfeeding once the baby is born, nutrition for mother and baby, and the process of birth itself.
- Achha Baccha: a certificate course for mothers with infants (3 months to 6 months age-group) providing critical information and hands-on practice regards newborn care, information on early childhood development, early childhood stimulation and the importance of bonding between mother and baby.
- Nutrition Course: a certificate course on basic nutrition designed for families with limited education and financial resources. This course not only demonstrates low-cost, highly nutritious recipes but also focuses on use of local ingredients, and most importantly de-mystifies nutrition
What have we achieved?
Since its inception, FMCH India has worked with over 6700 women and children directly in the city of Mumbai, and reached over 100,000 people indirectly through various programmes.
Malnutrition in children has improved: Moderate Acute Malnutrition has reduced by 4% and Severe Acute Malnutrition has reduced by 3%.
Since its launch in 2015, the FMCH Training Centre has conducted 211 hours of training and seen 1,202 participants complete various training programmes.
The Urban Nutrition Initiative was launched in April 2015 in Thane-Bhiwandi-Nizampur area. Partnering with the Government of Maharastra this initiative now works with 140 Aanganwadi centres and has reached 140,00 people through 140 ICDS centres.
During 2017 the FMCH India team will continue to implement the First 1000 Days programme focusing on community nutrition in all locations where we are currently engaged.
We do however plan to initiate at least one more ‘facility-based’ nutrition programme such as the Malnutrition OPD in another hospital or community clinic.
We also plan to expand FMCH’s training by developing modules on Nutrition for Tuberculosis and Adolescent Nutrition.
FMCH India has been able to achieve much of its work through fundraising within India. However, if we are to grow and continue our great work in India we need to increase our fundraising in the UK.
If you would like to make a donation towards our work in India, please go to our Donation page.