“Anaemia-Free Chandigarh Campaign Expands with Introduction of POSHAN Membership Scheme
Chandigarh: In a continued effort to combat the high prevalence of anaemia, the Anaemia-free Chandigarh campaign, launched on 6th September 2019 by the Hon’ble Administrator of UT Chandigarh, has introduced a new initiative called the POSHAN Membership Scheme. The campaign, which has made significant progress in addressing anaemia, particularly among pregnant women, lactating mothers, and adolescent girls, aims to further enhance its effectiveness through this membership program.
Under the POSHAN Membership Scheme, a comprehensive membership program will be implemented for women aged 15 to 45 years in Chandigarh. Dr. Palika Arora PCS, Director Social Welfare, Women & Child Development, Chandigarh Administration, stated that the scheme intends to provide necessary support and information on anaemia prevention and management. To achieve this, women leaders will be encouraged to form groups consisting of 15 to 25 adolescent girls or women, with each group taking responsibility for improving the hemoglobin (HB) levels of their members through various activities and interventions.
The scheme will focus on raising awareness and capacity-building through community meetings, workshops, and health camps. Field functionaries will receive training on anaemia prevention, nutrition, and related topics to effectively implement the program. Educational materials such as brochures and posters will be distributed to disseminate information and create awareness.
Pre and post-assessments of HB levels will be conducted at Health & Wellness Centres at 18 circles in collaboration with the Department of Health & Family Welfare, GMSH Sector 16, PGIMER, and GMCH-32, Chandigarh. Regular assessments will measure changes in HB levels and overall awareness, while beneficiary and stakeholder feedback will be collected to continually improve project implementation.
The POSHAN Membership Scheme will recognize outstanding efforts through incentives and rewards. Groups that demonstrate the highest percentage of improved HB levels will be acknowledged and rewarded. In-kind benefits and grand prizes will be offered to further motivate participants.
Initially covering 18 circles in the peripheral areas of Chandigarh through 450 Anganwadi centers, the POSHAN Membership Scheme aims to reduce anaemia among pregnant women, lactating mothers, and adolescent girls by creating awareness, providing support, and fostering active participation. Sifaaz Foundation, a Chandigarh-based NGO, is actively assisting the Department in successfully implementing the POSHAN Membership Scheme at the grassroots level by conducting awareness campaigns, community meetings, workshops, and health camps.
The introduction of the POSHAN Membership Scheme marks another step forward in the Anaemia-free Chandigarh campaign, strengthening efforts to combat anaemia and improve the overall health and well-being of women in Chandigarh.