Life-saving nutrition for very young children in Chad
‘The first 1,000 days of a child’s life is the critical period from conception until two years. By focusing on interventions targeting this key period we can impact the future health of an individual as well as their children in the years to come.’
– The Lancet series on mother and child nutrition
In Chad, we partner with Guinebor II Hospital, just outside the capital N’Djamena, to save the lives of very young children by tackling chronic malnutrition in their first 1,000 days.
Arid and semi-desert in the north and more fertile in the south, Chad is a nation whose people face acute poverty, instability and violence. Many struggle to get enough nutritious food or to access healthcare. Very young children are highly vulnerable to malnutrition, with 38 per 1,000 dying of it before their fifth birthday. Those who survive can go on to have lifelong health problems.
That’s why MAI is supporting Guinebor II Hospital to make improvements to young children’s nutrition which will save lives and transform health outcomes for years to come. They do this in three ways:
- Reducing anaemia in pregnant mothers. Almost half of all pregnant women in Chad are iron deficient, so the Guinebor II team provide free iron and folate supplements. This cuts the risk of mothers developing sepsis or having premature or critically underweight babies.
- Promoting breastfeeding. Most mothers in Chad give their babies water rather than exclusively breastfeeding. It’s perhaps understandable in such a hot country, but it’s a practice that costs lives. The team are supporting mothers to start breastfeeding immediately after birth and continue for the first six months of their baby’s life. This gives the baby the very best start in life and protects the mother from getting pregnant again too quickly.
- Offering complementary feeding. The Hospital provides acutely malnourished children with specially formulated, energy-dense food designed to help them gain weight swiftly and safely.
£20 could give a child access to vital community health care.
£27 could subsidise a safe delivery for mother and child.
£40 could provide life-saving treatment for a severely malnourished child under five years old.
Your gift today will help give young children the nutrients they need to live healthy lives
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