Children’s First 1000 Days Critical For Survival – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that the first 1000 days in the life of a child are the critical window opportunity for the child to survive and thrive to the fullest potential.
The UNICEF Bauchi Chief of Field Officer, Dr. Tushar Rane however said that the 1000 days start from the pregnancy, a period ranging from the first 270 days followed by the first two years of the child.
Dr. Rane, at a press briefing by the UN agency in Bauchi, explained that the 270 days period entails visiting a primary healthcare centre for nutrition counseling, medical services during the ante-natal care, and immunisation to the mother until the child is born.
“It is to be followed by immunisation of the child, then nutrition caller which provides counseling, vis-a-vis exclusive and exclusive breastfeeding till the child reaches two years of age,” he said.
Also speaking, a member of the UNICEF team, Kate Henshaw emphasised the importance of journalists in advocating for the health of children and mothers, and in generally disseminating critical information to people in communities.
Henshaw who is an ambassador of UNICEF Nigeria after the advocacy visit by the team said she was impressed with Governor Bala Mohammed who was very receptive the team’s briefing especially his interest in nutrition funds which help to give children protection and right nutrition till they grow properly.
The UNICEF ambassador also explained the team’s advocacy visit to Dass where they met the Emir, Usman Bilyaminu Othman, and talked about nutrition, RTF and supplements needed for a child, and the six-month exclusive breastfeeding for the child as a healthy foundation.
The ambassador therefore stressed the need for journalists to amplify the messages being passed to them as open as they can in their reportage to the communities, and even to themselves, as they both need each other to make the world a better place.
Henshaw also expressed delight that women in the visited places have taken up the advocacy with great importance as, according to her, the advocacy has been seen in the lives of the children.
She further explained that an unhealthy child would be a burden on health services and the community, hence the need for children to grow up and partake in developing the economy, thereby contributing positively to the society.
Henshaw therefore called for the provision of more primary healthcare centres closer to the people to take services to their doorsteps, especially to patients while noting that it is disadvantageous to travel long distances to access services with mode of transportation such as motorcycles or bikes that are not comfortable.







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