Infant mortality rates are high in Egypt. UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children (2017) reports that approximately 2.5 million Egyptian children are born each year, of whom 19,000 died in infancy, while 23,000 died under the age of 5 in 2016. In fact, Egypt ranks 81st among other nations on Under-5 mortality (3). And more than 1 in 5 Egyptian children experience stunting, which limits growth in height and cognitive development and increases susceptibility to infectious disease.
Improving maternity care practices and optimizing nutrition and responsive care during the first 1,000 days has the potential to dramatically decrease mortality and morbidity, saving lives and improving future health. Because of the crucial importance of care and nutrition in this time period (spanning from conception through the second year), care providers need training to better support the mother and child. Towards that end, a team of HCP faculty, including Drs. Cadwell, Blair, and Brimdyr, Barbara O’Connor, Cindy Turner-Maffei and Donna Walls, traveled to Egypt to support a 1,000-day campaign. During their stay, they conducted eight days of didactic and clinical training rotations in Stage 1, birth, postpartum, and NICU wards. Together with colleagues from the Egyptian Members Association of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (EMA), including Dr. Abla, a dream team of supportive colleagues, stellar interpreters, and the support of Kasr Alainy’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, which provided training rooms and clinical rotation sites, HCP was able to train 85 hospital, and 105 community 1,000 Days counselors.
“The hope of our collaboration is to provide a cadre of community and hospital companions who will provide support and carry important health, hygiene, and nutrition education to the families of Egypt, especially in communities where disparity of care is highest.”
Read more about the 1,000-day initiative and how HCP is supporting it on our blog.