When you think back to the most significant days of your life and the special childhood moments you hold dear, you probably don’t remember much from your first 1,000 days. But the first 1,000 days — from the early stages of pregnancy to age two — are the most fundamental in a child’s physical, social and cognitive development.
They are the window of opportunity for achieving a child’s full potential.
Proper nutrition to both mom and baby is more important during this time than any other. However, millions of children every day do not get the nutrition and care they need within their first two years. More than six million children under age five die each year, and while that number is declining, an increasing proportion are in sub-Saharan Africa.
One in ten children in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five, with 44 per cent of deaths occurring in babies less than one month old.
With adequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days:
- more than one million lives will be saved each year
- the human and economic burden of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS and the risk of other chronic conditions like diabetes will be significantly reduced
- children’s educational achievement and earning potential improves
- a country’s GDP increases by two to three per cent annually
Supporting moms and babies in the first 1,000 days is a critical focus on CFTC’s work. Some of the most important initiatives underway include: