Healthy women foster the well-being of families and communities

Venkat Raman
Auckland, October

Registered Nutritionist and Chairman of the Auckland-based Wahine Charitable Trust Mallika Janakiraman says that she draws inspiration from leaders of the corporate and political world to improve the lot of under-nourished women and children in our society but many would agree only partially.

It is the society and the communities that are motivated by people like Ms Janakiraman, who perceive the need to address issues such as malnourishment and iron deficiency – to name just two – that are prevalent among the members of the Indian community worldwide and create activities and programmes that enhance their wellness.

In this Video and Podcast, Ms Janakiraman speaks about the need to improve community health, which begins with the well-being of women and children.

Iron Deficiency addressed

The first 1000 days after childbirth are stated to be critical for both mother and child towards the achievement of which she provides nutritious, homemade food. Although a small beginning has been made over the past two years with about 20 families receiving the benefits of nutritious meals, the gesture will have a long-reaching impact and is slated to grow.

Ms Janakiraman has also been promoting awareness of iron deficiency, which she says affects about 30% of the world’s population. Along with her associates and volunteers in Wahine Trust, she is promoting a campaign to empower women of reproductive age in New Zealand.

Iron Deficiency anaemia is a global public health priority as a critical driver of good health in women and children. In New Zealand, one in 14 women is iron deficient. In India, nearly 52% or one in two women aged 15–49 years are anaemic. The loss of economic productivity due to anaemia is estimated at nearly 1.5% of the GDP, equal to about US$ 45 billion a year. The human body needs iron for mental and physical health, to keep energy levels up and build immunity to fight infections,” she said.

Nurturing stronger families

Ms Janakiraman said that Wahine Charitable Trust has engaged with many women in communities across the country in its mission to deliver optimal nutrition and health, embracing a diverse range of expertise and creating maximum impact.

“By combining resources and knowledge, we forge a path towards co-created, personalised programmes that cater to unique needs. Through community-driven initiatives, we are dedicated to nurturing stronger, more resilient families. Together, we strive towards shared aspirations, fostering a future where wellness thrives,” she said.

Ms Janakiraman is a Registered Nutritionist with more than 30 years of intrapreneur and entrepreneur experience across academia, FMCG (Kellogg, Nestle and PepsiCo) and private consultancy. She has to her credit several thought leadership roles in various Food, Nutrition and Regulatory committees such as the Ministry of Woman & Child Development, Food Safety and Standard Authority India and others.

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