Nutritional Rehabilitation Home
There are food deficit areas in Nepal, but forthe most part, nutritional deficiency in Nepal is a consequence of poverty and ignorance. Malnutrition engenders physical and mental deformity. Nepal is not the Sudan, yet it is estimated that half of all Nepali children under five are malnourished and poor nourishment is one of the leading causes of death for young children. Often, the problem is less one of poverty than of ignorance.
Since 1998, FNC has operated the first Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) in Kathmandu. The child and mother live together at the NRH during the course of treatment, which usually takes about one month. During the residence of the mother and child, the mothers are instructed how to prepare nutritious meals using foods that are affordable and readily available in their own community. The mothers are also instructed in how to pass on their knowledge to other mothers after they return to their villages. After the mother and child are discharged, field workers follow up in the villages to check on the child’s health and to ensure that the mother is practicing what she has learned and is educating other women in the community about nutrition and other good child care practices.
Till date we have restored 2,822 malnourished children to health and educated 2,379 mothers/caretakers on health and nutrition.
The NRH, which had been operating through a rented building since 1998, has finally moved to its own premises in Sunakothi in Lalitpur/Kathmandu. It is a large house with 24 beds for children. The NRH has maintained very good coordination with the government health facilities such as local health posts, District Public Health Office and Child Health Division. It also works closely with Patan Hospital in Lalitpur whereby the hospital refers children to the NRH if necessary. The children at the NRH are also brought to this hospital for medical problems and tests. It costs only about Rs. 25,000 to restore the health or save the life of a child, empower and train the mother. By involving the mothers in this process, the outcomes have built-in sustainability.