Singapore, Dubai - In a small village in West Bengal, India, 7-month-old Anwesha is oblivious to the fact that in her community, for generations before her, many newborns did not even live to see their first birthday.
In an age old tradition, the community believed that the survival of the newborn or the mother is pre-determined and no extra care or immunization should interfere with the inevitable. It was only after persistent effort by CRY-supported project SSDC for a decade that the attitude of the community began to change.
While they once had very little awareness about health-checkups, pre-natal care for pregnant mothers, care and immunization for the newborn, they now realize the importance of medical attention, especially in the first five years.
With this aim to ensure children get the required care and medical attention in the first five years, that CRY – Child Rights and You, a leading child right NGO in India, has launched a nation-wide fundraising and awareness Campaign ‘Healthy Start’. It looks at multiple issues that a child faces during the crucial 0-5 years of age, and works towards addressing the gaps that exist and ensure rights are upheld for children.
Anita Bala Sharad, Director, Resource Mobilization, CRY – Child Rights and You, says, “Working with children for the last three decades, we have realized how crucial the first five years are for a child when brain development is at its peak. Lack of access to service, insufficient care for mothers, little awareness and sensitization leads to many children missing out on the crucial care and attention needed in this phase, which might result in permanent damage to child’s development. Our campaign ‘Healthy Start’ is a step towards the change that we wish to see and ensure that these children are given a chance at a healthy future.”
The first phase of the campaign will focus on immunization and aims to ensure 30,513 children in CRY’s project areas, under the age of 1 year, receive access to all lifesaving vaccines. Other issues like malnourishment, maternal care, access to health services will be focussed on throughout the year and aims to ensure healthy start to 2,81,045 children.
Support the campaign at http://www.cry.org/what-to-do/donation-gops-healthystart.html
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