Early Health Care & Nutrition.
Every child receives nourishing food and good healthcare starting during pregnancy.
The quality of nutrition and health care children receive during their early years, effects the quality of their future health, well-being, learning and productivity. A healthy pregnancy, immunisations, and breastfeeding followed by a varied, healthy diet all contribute to lifelong growth and development. Children also need regular growth monitoring to ensure that their development is on track for age, and to identify any potential barriers to learning (such as hearing or vision impairments).
Early identification and mitigation of health-related barriers to learning are essential.
A major barrier to learning is stunting. Stunting is a devastating, but preventable condition caused by, among other things, poor nutrition in early childhood. It is defined as shortness in height for a child’s age and can only be diagnosed by comparing the child’s measurements to standardized growth charts. Stunting affects the growth of a child’s body and brain and is associated with poor lifelong health and cognitive outcomes. An estimated 1 in 4 children under five years of age in South Africa is stunted.
Tackling the challenges that cause stunting and other health related barriers to learning is an investment in human capital and the long-term economic growth of our country.
We invest in solutions that contribute to the optimal growth and development of children from conception to their 6th year of life.
Take a look below at some of the areas where innovation is needed to support the optimal growth and development of children.
We hope this information will create a launchpad for creative ideas on how to best solve problems in this area.
We have a year-round open call for applications for funding and support for ideas that meet our investment criteria .
Empowered parents & carers
- All mothers, especially those who are suffering from depression or anxiety, need to be supported so that they can ensure the healthy growth and development of their child.
- They need access to convenient and affordable antenatal care from early in their pregnancy.
- Mothers need environments in the home and places of work that are supportive of breastfeeding.
- Fathers need to be able and motivated to contribute to the health and well-being of both mother and child.
Effective healthcare services
Healthcare workers need to feel motivated and supported to deliver quality care to mothers and young children.
They also need accurate and convenient tools to enable them to monitor children’s growth and development and to respond appropriately. Here’s an example of an investment that does just that.
Effective and accessible tools for the early detection of physical and cognitive barriers to learning are essential.
Access to affordable nutritious food
- Parents, and others caring for children, need information and motivation to make the best possible food choices within their means.
- Healthy, affordable food needs to be available for children and those who care for them.