World Health Day, 7 April, is an annual event that marks the anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution of the World Health Organization. Every year, the day is celebrated by spreading awareness and support around crucial public health issues. People throughout the world are encouraged to consider their health needs and ways to improve people's health in their communities. This encouragement in participation would help spread an understanding of the prevalent problems and the pathway to their eradication.
On World Health Day 2021, in the drive towards health for the farming community of Madhya Pradesh, women farmers from village Semradangi (Sehore) took active participation in an educative session planned for them on behalf of Solidaridad. The World Health Day 2021 was themed around health and nutrition security and labelled as “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”. In an attempt to spread the word of nutrition during the challenging time of a global pandemic, the nutrition team from Solidaridad, under the collective banner of Good farming – Good Food, invited numerous women farmers to join the discussions.
The poverty that exists in the rural sectors is well known. Lack of guidance and livelihood, when combined, trickles down to the change in the diet of the community. Within the challenging circumstance, many families opt for cheap and unhealthy alternatives. Most of the households in the farming community are unaware of the nutrition status of their community. Many families are unfamiliar with the necessary nutritional requirements for the members, who range from young to elderly. Farmers are unaware of the nutritional benefits that they can derive from their harvested crop.
In Good Farming – Good Food, the farmers are also assisted in identifying the nourishment that can be derived out of their cash crops. Soy, a significant crop in Madhya Pradesh, is famous for its nutritional benefits. With its heavy protein supplementing profile, Soy has proved beneficial for women and children of all ages. During the celebration of World Health Day, the nutrition experts of Good Farming – Good Food engaged the participants in a dialogue focused on improving the quality of life for women of all ages; living in rural communities through better health and dietary habits.
The session started with an elaborate discussion and presentation on the ailments prevalent in women, followed by how some minor changes in one’s diet can help overcome such challenges. The presentation included various soy-based recipes that can be made at home with much ease. There are many food items that can be made from soybeans. Soy milk, tofu and chunks carry high nutrition value and are easy to prepare as well. Products like Soy milk and tofu are a good replacement for milk-based products like paneer and is a good protein alternative for lactose intolerant.
The participants also took a keen interest in clearing their doubts during the Q and A session. Many participants committed to good food constituting green-leafy vegetables and protein-based recipes made out of Soy at the end of the session. The celebration of World Health Day ended with refreshments and dissemination of Covid 19 related guidelines and precautions.
Communication of information related to rural health and health services; quality of life; health promotion strategies; and policy forms the foundation of nutrition aspect under Good Farming – Good Food.