Published on 30 August 2012
ChildFund Australia has today launched an appeal for a vital new early childhood program that will give children in Zambia the best start in life.
In Zambia’s remote communities, there are no accessible health services for babies. Mothers can’t get check-ups or immunisations for their newborns or information on how best to look after their baby. There is little knowledge about age-appropriate nutrition and early childhood development.
As a result, 100,000 Zambian children under five die each year. Most of these deaths are preventable. For those who survive, in some districts almost three-quarters of children are considered developmentally vulnerable.
ChildFund hopes to make a change for the better for children in Zambia with our Start Strong & Stay Strong program. This will provide infants and young children in rural Zambia with a healthier start in their critical first five years, and tackle four crucial areas: education, health, protection and nutrition.
Funds raised will support the construction of 10 child health, care and development centres (called ‘insakas’, meaning ‘place to gather’ in the local language) in two remote communities.
Mothers will be able to bring their babies to the insakas from birth, to receive vital health check-ups, monitoring and immunisations to prevent life-threatening diseases.
Trained local staff will be in attendance to educate mothers on healthy nutrition, child-rearing practices, treatment of common childhood illnesses, child protection and how to monitor important milestones. To help maintain good nutrition over the long-term, demonstration gardens will show parents how to improve the quality of crops.
ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence says: “In Australia, we know how important those 0-5 years are and we’re lucky to have such quality services available to this age group to ensure our children develop to their full potential. However, in places like Zambia, children often don’t have these opportunities – without the right nutrition, healthcare and education at this age, it can set them back for life.
“Our Start Strong & Stay Strong program will have an immediate effect on vulnerable babies that face such a difficult start to life. Your support will not only help these children to survive but give them the best chance of a healthy, productive future.”
To support our Start Strong & Stay Strong program in Zambia, please make a secure online donation here or call our Supporter Relations team on 1800 023 600.