A unique window of opportunity exists to positively shape a child’s future. Good nutrition in the first 1,000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to enable all children to lead healthier and more productive lives. Proven, cost-effective interventions could prevent millions of children from suffering the irreversible effects of poor nutrition in the first 24 months of life.
Annually, approximately 800,000 child deaths worldwide can be attributed to suboptimal breastfeeding, particularly non-exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, and 1 million child deaths are attributed to stunting, caused in part by suboptimal complementary feeding practices. Millions more suffer long-term consequences and are left susceptible to chronic and life-threatening conditions.
Proper nutrition during pregnancy and between birth and age two gives children a healthy start and improves their long-term growth, development, educational achievement, and future economic opportunities. Healthier children are more likely to grow into healthy, productive adults. The positive impact of investing in early childhood nutrition will be realized in the health and stability of communities and countries for years to come.
Alive & Thrive focuses on three technical areas to save lives, improve health and nutrition, and reduce stunting.