This case demonstrates what it takes to address a chronic, intergenerational public health issue. It explores the drivers behind the reduction of malnutrition in Maharashtra State, India, from 2001–2013. Specifically, the case examines the strategies and management decisions of leaders of the government-established Rajmata Jijau Mother-Child Health and Nutrition Mission as they worked to reduce the incidence of malnutrition in children and women through a multi-sectoral collaborative approach.
Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.
Stunting Syndrome from Conception through Adulthood. Dark blue denotes the period between conception and 2 years (‘the first 1000 days’) when interventions are most effective. Light blue denotes the time period between 2 years and mid-childhood and during the adolescent growth spurt when some catch-up in linear growth may occur. The light blue period before Conceptus reflects evidence that dietary interventions targeting stunted women pre-conception improve birth outcomes. Gray denotes periods when the stunting syndrome appears unresponsive to interventions. Dashed line–a stunted child whose environment becomes more affluent with abundant access to food, causing excessive weight gain; solid line–a stunted child whose environment remains resource-constrained/food insecure. Source: Adapted by case writers with assistance from Isabelle Celentano from Pendergast AJ, Humphrey JH. “The stunting syndrome in developing countries,” Paediatr Int Child Health. 2014;34(4):250-265; doi:10.1179/2046905514Y.0000000158.
Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate how to configure specific interventions and indicators to ameliorate and measure malnutrition for a local setting; the complexity and importance of crafting policies and generating political will across sectors in support of nutrition programs; and the role of a strong community workforce in enabling nutrition programs to reach the target population.
Keywords: Maternal and child health, children, intergenerational disease, public-private partnership, nutrition, strategy, political leadership, scale-up, community health workers, health care delivery, malnutrition, cross-sector collaboration