First 1 000 Days Campaign
Improving the nutrition of our mothers and children during the first 1 000-day window helps ensure children get the best start to life and the opportunity to reach their full potential.
What’s the First 1000 Days campaign all about?
The project forms part of the province’s campaign to raise awareness of the crucial first 1 000 days of your child’s life.
We believe that the first 1 000 days in a child’s development, starting from conception, moving through pregnancy, birth, and after the first 2 years of life, are crucial for securing a child’s bright future.
Taking care of our moms and children
“We believe that the healthy early development of a child, and the well-being of the mother, is the responsibility of the community. It takes the whole village to raise a healthy child,” said Minister Mbombo.
Research indicates that both the physical and mental development of infants develops rapidly during the 1000 days period, and the right care and nutrition during this window period helps to:
- develop their brains,
- fuel their physical growth,
- build up their strong immune system,
- improve their school readiness and educational achievement, and
- reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease later in life.
The 3 most important aspects of the first 1 000 days are:
- health and nutrition, which both mom and baby need (the things you eat and drink). It’s very important not to smoke, drink alcohol or do drugs if you may be expecting a baby or are currently breastfeeding;
- love and attention that your baby needs, and all the support that the mom needs. Both mom and baby need the support and love of fathers, families and the community; and
- play and stimulation your baby has a need for learning as well as the protection of a safe environment – talk to baby, play with baby. Protect your baby from harm, stress and neglect.
Working better together
We realise that health and wellness requires a wider response than any one department can deliver, and that’s why the Department of Health and Department of Social Development (DSD) have joined together on the First 1 000 Days initiative.
“Through our growing network of over 1700 registered Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres, the DSD provides advice and support to countless parents of young children on matters ranging from nutrition to assistance with access to safe and creative spaces for children to play, grow and develop,” said Minister Fritz. “These centres are of great benefit to communities; providing a space to share and acquire knowledge that will benefit our children,” added the Minister.
“Every parent wants to see their child succeed in school and unlock opportunities for their future. Investing in their healthy development within the first 1000 days is crucial to achieving this” said Minister Mbombo.
Where to get more information, advice and help:
Contact the following numbers for more information on:
- Substance abuse: 0800 220 250
- Violence and abuse: SMS INFO to 35395
- Finding a registered ECD Centre: 0800 220 250
Health Hotline (for information or complaints)
- Call 0860 142 142 or
- Send a Please Call Me to 079 769 1207
Listen to our First 1 000 Days interview
First 1 000 Days campaign poster