The Government of Uganda spends only 6% of its total annual budget to health. This is never enough for inclusive health care mainly accessibility and utilization gaps. There are fewer adequately stocked health facilities as compared to the growing population of 6.63 births per woman (1 national referral and 14 regional referral hospitals for 45 million people, Doctor: Patient ratio of 1: 25,000 patients). More than 56 percent of the population is female, and more than 82 percent live without access to good health. This situation has led to significant loss of lives to mainly modifiable risk factors and causes. Quality health care is needed in Uganda but the health facilities are few and expensive and few people can afford them.
In rural areas of Uganda over 5km from the nearest health facility, pregnant women rarely receive the recommended four pre-natal visits to see a midwife and 6 postnatal checks, many women are unable to deliver in a health facility, and young babies are rarely taken to get early life checkups and vaccines. According to UNICEF’s 22nd Nov 2016 report on Maternal and Newborn Health in Uganda, more than 56% of rural women do not receive antenatal care during pregnancy and approximately 91% of new mothers and their newborns don’t receive postnatal care majorly due to ignorance on its importance and inaccessible few health facilities. Yet still only 6% of Uganda’s total annual budget is allocated to health.
In addition, according to the Global nutrition report of 2017, the government of Uganda allocates only 0.4% of its general expenditure to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. This has muchly increased malnutrition in mothers in Uganda, and has greatly led to maternal complications and birth defects.
Global report on Birth Defects by March of Dime 2006 estimated 8 million children born with birth defects worldwide, 3.3 million of these children die each year and 3.2 million of those who survive live with long-term disabilities. However, 94% of the births with birth defects occur in developing countries like Uganda where birth defect prevalence is now at 150/1000. Yet 85.3% of these birth defects can be completely prevented with improved access to & utilization of quality maternal & child health care services.
According to UNICEF’s 22nd Nov 2016 report on Maternal and Newborn Health in Uganda, 54% of rural women do not receive antenatal care during pregnancy and approximately 91% of new mother and their newborns don’t receive postnatal care majorly due to ignorance on its importance and inaccessible health facilities where it takes around 10km to reach a nearby health facility which increases the risks of birth defects. Healthy futures start with healthy mothers. When we invest in pregnant women and girls, we invest in the drivers of development. Children’s future is in our hands, our future is in their hands.
In their November 2017 report, Mbale CURE International Neurosurgery children’s hospital in eastern region of Uganda clarified that they perform1,000 operations every year in neural tube defects & spina bifida. The report further clarified that parents sell their land, houses and other property to raise funds for the cure and management. Imagine only one hospital in one region performs 1,000 surgeries, how about others in Uganda in other regions, how about in Africa and the globe at large. At Infants’ Health Foundation, we are fighting to prevent that.
According to the Lancet Medical Journal of September 2018, poor healthcare is behind 6 out of 10 preventable deaths in low income countries like Uganda. 8.6 million Total deaths from treatable conditions in Africa, and 3.6 million deaths from lack of access to healthcare. 86% in women and children. Overall, deaths from treatable conditions cost the global economy some $6 trillion (5.2 trillion euros) in 2015 alone.
At Infants’ Health Foundation, we believe that giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing health inequalities across the life course. The foundations for virtually every aspect of human development – physical, intellectual and emotional – are laid in early childhood. What happens during these early years (starting in the womb) has lifelong effects on many aspects of health and well-being from birth defect, obesity, heart disease and mental health, to educational achievement and economic status. Later interventions, although important, are considerably less effective where good early foundations are lacking.
Our human instincts to nourish, nurture and protect our children from the moment we become aware of their existence has a scientific basis. It is a critical window of time that sets the stage for a person’s intellectual development and lifelong health. It is a period of enormous potential, but also of enormous vulnerability.
Power of Information. At Infants’ Health Foundation, we trust that when families, communities, policy makers, media and all the stake holders are aware of the needed relevant information the vulnerabilities of infants to birth defects is lowered. That’s why we embark on awareness campaigns on the causes, risks and possible preventions of birth defects among infants. Infants’ Health Foundation “committed to debunking myths about birth defects” Join us
Power of Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is not only an investment in improving children’s healthcare and saving lives, but also an investment in human capital development that can benefit a country’s economy. Join us in this move @Infants Health Foundation to sensitize the communities, the rural new mothers about breastfeeding’ vitalness. When women are informed, empowered and supported to breastfeed, the benefits extend to their children, to themselves and to society, as a whole.
Power of nutrition. With over 800 million people worldwide suffering from hunger and more than two billion affected by malnutrition, food security remains a real threat to global development. Malnutrition is the challenge of our time, with diet related diseases afflicting almost every country in the world. 1 in 9 people suffer hunger, but hundreds of millions more face malnutrition. For children the consequences can be devastating. Join us at Infants’ Health Foundation in fighting not just hunger but malnutrition. From feeding the world to nourishing the world sustainably. We believe that nutrition is a low cost with high impact investment.
Globally, 1 in 9 people are estimated to be undernourished, without sufficient access to nutritious. What we so dearly want for our own children is what we want for every girl and boy regardless of origin, nationality or creed: to be safe, nourished to have hopes and dreams for the future. Ensuring these for all children is our sacred duty. If a child doesn’t get right nutrition in first 1000days, it’s the cornerstone of child development and impacts last a lifetime.
Global hunger continues to rise according to the SOFI 2018 report, 821 million people now hungry and over 150 million children stunted, putting hunger eradication goal at risk. Food and Agriculture. Hunger is on the rise. This message should frighten the world. With all the wealth in the world today, we aren’t defeating hunger. What will happen when world population reaches 10 billion. We need action now with effective projects to tackle the root causes of hunger. And Infants’ Health Foundation, we are working towards that.
Nutrition investments have one of the highest returns on investment, every $1 invested in nutrition results in up to $35 in economic returns. Our investments address the prevention of maternal malnutrition, with emphasis on those that target the “1,000-day window of opportunity” from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday – a period in which good nutrition is critical for optimal physical and cognitive development. By improving nutrition, Infants’ Health Foundation helps Ugandan national economy grow, enabling it to better participate in global markets and provide for its own citizens.
It is critical to ensure women are well-nourished before, during, and after pregnancy – Improving the nutritional wellbeing of even adolescent girls helps keep them in school and improves their health before they become mothers – Maternal malnutrition increases risk of women dying from pre-eclampsia and anaemia – The nutrition of mothers affects the stature of their children and their health at all ages.
At Infants’ Health Foundation, we trust that understanding the extent and magnitude of the dangers and all the risks associated with the inadequate or lack of preconception, antenatal, during child delivery and post-natal care services mothers and their children especially within 1000 days of child development from the prior to and date of conception till the child attends 2 years of age is very phenomenal. We believe that investing in these 1000 days is one of the best and vital investments our organization can make to lay the foundation for nurturing bright school children, healthy and productive adulthood through eliminating long term life disabilities, deaths and their miseries on individuals, families, communities and countries at large.
It’s stated by WHO in 2010, and 2013 reports on disabilities, and child development respectively that children who receive good care and developmental opportunities during early childhood are more likely to become healthy and productive adults. This can potentially reduce the future costs of education, medical care and other social spending. Equally important, it is necessary to uphold the right of every child to survive and thrive.
1000 days of child development are very crutial and matters the most. It’s an important period of window of opportunity, what happens in those first days determines to a large extent the course of a child’s life – his or her ability to grow, learn, work, succeed – and, by extension, the long-term health, stability and prosperity of the society in which that child lives. And It is cheaper, better and easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults. Join the save at Infants’ Health Foundation.