Kandhamal Zilla Sabuja Vaidhya Sangathan, Odisha

By Baker Johnson

Vitamin Angels’ partnership with Kandhamal Zilla Sabuja Vaidhya Sangathan (KZSVS) began in 2012. Headquartered in Odisha’s Daringbadi, KZSVS supports and works with various tribal communities in and around Kandhamal by engaging them in developing infrastructures like roads, irrigation, and daycare centers for children.

With in-kind donation from Vitamin Angels, KZSVS reaches over 15,000 under-five children each year with vitamin A and deworming. Apart from this, the organization also collaborates with the local Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) department, encouraging mothers to access services that include supplementary nutrition, preschool non-formal education, nutrition and health education, immunization, health check-ups, and referral services.

Deepak Maharana, founder of KZSVS, says, “The local community was unaware of the importance of nutrition interventions like vitamin A and deworming. Many of the children were frequently falling ill from measles and diarrhea. After just one year of regularly distributing vitamin A and deworming and raising awareness in the community, we began to get feedback that the health of the children had improved. Now, parents eagerly bring the children in for the next doses. Even if it means walking 8 to 10 kilometers through forests, we are constantly motivated to reach more children that the government is not able to serve.”