The period from the conception of a child in the mother’s womb till the child attains the age of 2 years constitutes 1000 days. The 1000 days of a child’s life is critical to the physical & cognitive development. One of the important components to attain a healthy start for a child is a nutritious diet during pregnancy and as the child grows.
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, the local scenario of the health of children and women in Meghalaya shows that a large proportion of children (0 to 59 months) are stunted (43.8%) and also anaemic (48%) while the percentage of pregnant women who are anaemic is 53.3%. If we are to enhance the health of children and women, we are to focus on the 1000 days.
In this context, NESFAS has approached the 1000 days from a food perspective whereby the focus was on enhancing the intake of green leafy vegetables locally grown and available in the very day diets while not excluding the medical services that a pregnant woman and a child needs to avail. Campaigns through community programmes, online platforms and local radio have been used to enhance awareness about the need to improve diets for mothers and children. Messages using the mobile phones are sent on a regular basis, as a reminder to enhance food diversity.