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close this bookEffective Communications for Nutrition in Primary Health Care (UNU, 1988, 208 p.)
close this folderCountry and project reports
View the documentBangladesh
View the documentEfficacy of nutrition education and training for rural populations in Bangladesh through appropriate communications
View the documentStatus report on nutrition communication activities in India
View the documentNutrition education in the Indonesian family nutrition improvement programme (UPGK)
View the documentA package of slides for a demonstration project of urban primary health care in the republic of Korea
View the documentCountry report on nutrition communication activities in Malaysia
View the documentNutrition communications in Nepal
View the documentSupplementary feeding and nutrition education in Pakistan
View the documentChild health care in the new China
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Status report on nutrition communication activities in India

Jalaja Sundaram
Nutrition Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Bangalore, India

Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of nutritional problems, a national programme called the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme has been developed. Package services, including supplementary food, immunization, nutrition and health education, health and referral services, and non-formal education have been formulated and provided.

Currently, the existing primary health-care infrastructure at the block level is making use of nutrition communications. Paramedical workers and female health assistants/health workers play an important role, and are supervised and guided by district-level health officers. Face-toface communications by informal talks, for example among women, are most widely used. Radio, newspaper, and, to a limited extent, television have been utilized.

A unique effort is being made in Karnataka State, where systematic education activities have been developed. A unit was formed consisting of a nutrition officer, a health education expert, and a paramedical worker at the district level. The unit plans the education activities, with particular emphasis on supplementary foods for infants and proper diets during pregnancy and lactation. Training, teaching aids, and all communication activities were identified, and involvement of all health services and various agencies has been encouraged. Small research studies on several little-known communication systems were suggested.

It is recognized that changing food habits is a slow process and proper planning of systematic delivery of information is crucial. As India is a vast country, with different languages, cultural practices, and social values, the communication systems should be developed to suit individual communities.

A systematic, realistic programme of education is required and community involvement and participation must be encouraged. Well-trained personnel, proper supervision, guidance, and reliable documentation are all essential elements for successful nutrition education.