Egypt launches '1,000 Days' campaign to optimize health, development of mothers & babies

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 Aug 2023

Egypt's Minister of Health Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar launched on Tuesday the "Thousand Golden Days for Developing the Egyptian Family" initiative, fostering optimum health and development for mothers and babies.

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The campaign – currently running for nine months in 10 governorates as a first stage – addresses health, nutritional, and awareness issues facing the family, General Supervisor of the Presidential Initiative Abla El-Alfi announced in a presser.

Disease prevention among people looking to marry as well as those due to give birth and those who have young children is the main aim of the initiative, El-Alfi affirmed.

The initiative targets the first thousand-day period between a woman's pregnancy and her child's second birthday. During this period nearly 85 percent of a child's physical and mental development occurs, she explained.

Approximately two million children in Egypt live with disabilities due to a lack of early intervention and prevention, according to the general supervisor.

"It is not possible to compensate for what is damaged [during this period] in children … because such complications cannot be undone through growth, cells, or anything else," noted El-Alfi.

The campaign will provide counseling rooms in every relevant health unit and primary care centre within the first stage's governorates.

A total of 2,150 specialists will meet with women and provide necessary consultations, whether before marriage, during pregnancy, or after childbirth, she added.

The initiative also seeks to reduce the rate of Caesarian sections in Egypt, which currently stands at 72 percent; unusual compared to most countries in the world, in which 50 percent of children are born naturally.

Finally, the general supervisor confirmed that the second phase of the campaign is scheduled to begin in December 2025.

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