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April 2017 Entry

1,000 Days of Difference

Samantha Church
Orlando · FL
Overview
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

The 1,000 Days of Difference pilot program combats childhood malnutrition and supports the development of healthy families in Villa Guadalupe (VG) through targeting pregnant women, especially pregnant adolescents. VG is situated in Managua, Nicaragua and is home to 4,700 individuals who are either former residents of the municipal trash dump, La Chureca, or victims of flooding. The three stage program will provide breastfeeding support, nutritional supplements, health education, and monitoring during the first 1,000 days of a child’s development, from pregnancy to age two. We plan to make the world kinder by reducing childhood malnutrition through key nutritional interventions in the first 1,000 days of life for 25 program participants.

How will you use the $10k?

The funds from KIND will allow MPI to kick-start our pilot program with the goal to enroll 25 participants in 6 months. With program sustainability in mind, funding will be used to hire a nutritionist, community nurse, lactation consultant, and physician to staff the program. Expectant mothers and their children will be enrolled into one of three stages, based on the child’s age. Each stage provides the appropriate vitamins, nutritional supplements, anemia testing, nutritionist-led educational programming, tailored lactation care, and in-home visits by the community nurse. The rest of the funds will be used for educational materials, monitoring and evaluation, as well as a Program Coordinator to oversee the logistics of the project.

What impact do you hope to make?

According to UNICEF, a child who is exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life is 14 times less likely to die in those early months than a child who is not breastfed. However, in a study done in the community of Villa Guadalupe (VG), it was found that 45% of women only exclusively breastfeed for 3 months or less, compared to the recommended 6 months. Women in this community lack access to education about the benefits of breastfeeding and proper nutrition for mothers and infants. Our program aims to reduce childhood malnutrition in VG through key educational and nutritional interventions to increase the number of women following WHO-recommended breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in the first 1,000 days of life.

Other Details
1,000 Days of Difference
1,000 Days of Difference
1,000 Days of Difference
1,000 Days of Difference

Hiring for the 1,000 Days of Difference program will begin in May 2017. After the nutritionist, community nurse, lactation consultant, and physician positions have been filled, the enrollment period for pregnant women will begin on June 1, 2017. Upon enrollment, women will immediately begin to receive nutritional support and educational programming. We will aim to have 10 women enrolled by July 1st, specifically targeting women in the first 3 months of their pregnancy. Enrollment will continue until all 25 available spots have been filled, no later than October 2017. The program will be fully operational by October, providing key nutritional and educational interventions for the first 1,000 days of life to reduce childhood malnutrition.

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