First 1000 Days Nutritional ProgrammeNB Media2023-11-14T16:07:44+02:00
OUR CURRENT PROJECTS
First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme
Our First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme addresses the critical lack of nutrition awareness and resources amongst pregnant women from marginalised communities such as informal settlements and rural areas. Malnutrition during pregnancy can lead to adverse outcomes for both mother and child. This comprehensive initiative aims to educate and support pregnant women throughout the first 1000 days of a child’s life, emphasising nutrition, breastfeeding, and general wellbeing.
Child mortality rates, malnutrition, and neonatal deaths remain alarming in South Africa, particularly within informal settlements and rural communities.
Chronic malnutrition leads to lifelong consequences, impairing brain development and economic potential. Scientific evidence underscores the importance of preventing nutritional deficits from the outset, rather than relying on remedial measures. Exclusive breastfeeding and access to nutritious food during the critical window of the first 1000 days are pivotal.
The First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme takes a holistic approach to support pregnant women and their children through nutrition, breastfeeding, and health awareness. They key focus areas include:
Provide supplemental food packs for expectant and lactating mothers.
Conduct training sessions on the significance on nutrition during the first 1000 days.
Disseminate nutritional and health information through a mobile health app.
Train women to prepare affordable, nutritious meals for children.
Equip women in the community to promote good nutritional practices.
Train community champions for breastfeeding support.
Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.
Advocate for expressing breast milk for working mothers.
Conduct targeted breastfeeding and foetal alcohol syndrome campaigns.
Train women to identify and refer children with growth issues.
Monitor immunisations and growth of children on the programme.
Offer free antenatal classes for women from under-served communities
Provide essential vitamin supplements to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Provide vital emotional and mental wellbeing assistance.
Create a safe environment for mothers to share concerns and celebrate milestones.
Nurture both physical and emotional wellbeing of mothers and their children, ensuring a brighter and healthier future for all.
Empower pregnant women, support healthy child development, strengthen community bonds.
The programme involves recruiting pregnant women from marginalised communities in the Eastern Cape Region of South Africa. Key implementation steps include creating a database, developing a mobile health app, training community champions, conducting workshops, providing supplements and support, and facilitating ante-natal classes.
The anticipated outcomes include reduced stunted growth among children, increased exclusive breastfeeding rates, improved awareness of early childhood nutrition, and enhanced health for mothers and children. This programme seeks to have a positive impact on infant mortality rates, cognitive development, disease prevention, economic prospects, and immunisation coverage.
The First 1000 Days Nutritional Programme aims to create a lasting positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children and mothers from marginalised communities. By addressing critical gaps in nutrition awareness and resources, this initiative has the potential to significantly contribute to a healthier future for both individuals and society as a whole.
REAL-LIFE CASE STUDY
The Need: Empowering Mothers for Healthy Childhoods
Meet Tumi, a resilient mother of two, residing in a cramped shack within an informal settlement in East London. Tumi’s journey is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by countless mothers in similar circumstances, struggling to provide their children with a hopeful future.
Tumi cried the day that she discovered that she was pregnant with her third child. Instead of tears of joy, she was thinking of how difficult it was going to be to make ends meet because of this pregnancy. Her husband is unemployed and she has been working as a maid in the surburbs. She will unfortunately have to take unpaid maternity leave and she may never be able to go back to work because she cannot afford child care. This impending absence of income threatens to exacerbate an already precarious financial situation. With meagre earnings, the family struggles to secure basic necessities like food, casting a shadow over their daily lives. Tumi’s visit to the clinic for her two-year-old’s immunisation reveals a heartrending reality. Her child is underweight, prompting the nurse’s advice to incorporate nutritious meals and daily eggs into their diet. Similarly, Tumi’s four-year-old son is also underweight, as indicated by measurements taken at the creche. Unfortunately, Tumi’s lack of awareness about the long-term consequences of stunted growth makes it challenging for her to follow the nurse’s recommendations.
The Larger Context
Tumi’s situation is not unique. In South Africa, startling statistics highlight the dire circumstances faced by many families. Disturbingly, approximately half of the children who lose their lives are HIV positive, while 34% suffer from severe malnutrition, and 30% are underweight. Hunger becomes an unwelcome guest, particularly during the last week of each month before special grants are distributed. A staggering one-third of children under 3 years old face stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition. Regrettably, the implications of stunting span a lifetime, encompassing impaired brain development, lower IQ, compromised immune systems, and heightened susceptibility to diseases in adulthood.
The Call to Action
Potential partners/funders/stakeholders/collaborators, our mission is clear. We are determined to be a catalyst for change, to bring light to the lives of mothers like Tumi and their children. We cannot let this cycle of malnutrition and stunted growth persist any longer!
By partnering with us, you enable a transformational journey. Your support will drive initiatives that educate mothers about the lifelong impacts of malnutrition and stunted growth. We will provide essential resources to vulnerable families in need. Through awareness campaigns and community engagement, we aim to equip mothers with the knowledge they require to make informed choices for the wellbeing of their children.
Together, We Can
It’s time to break the cycle and create a brighter future for Tumi’s children and countless others. No child should ever go to bed hungry. We implore you to stand with us, to be a beacon of hope for families teetering on the edge. Your financial support will be a lifeline, turning the tide against malnutrition and securing a healthier, happier tomorrow for the young minds that shape our future.
Join hands with us today, and together, lets redefine the trajectory of childhoods, one nourished life at a time.
For partnership opportunities and contributions, please reach out to Dr Rejoice Shumba on email – email@example.com. Your support matters more than you know!