The first two years of life is the most crucial time to ensure optimal health and development. 2 by 2 is an ambitious safety net program that incorporates proven health interventions to ensure that by the age of two, every child has access to:
1.Adequate nutrition and micro-nutrient supplementation to prevent stunting and improve neuro-development
2.Complete vaccination and preventive health services to reduce preventable illness and mortality
Timely and adequate provision of these two things are essential as age 0 – 24 months is the most crucial time in a child's neurologic development. Once this time period is past, interventions become both more costly and less effective.
Adequate child nutrition improves cognitive development and scholastic achievement which in turn puts a child on the path for a healthy and productive life. For example studies have shown:
•Manual laborers in developing countries that do not show signs of growth stunting earn higher daily wages
•One additional year of schooling can increase annual earnings by over 10%
•Child mortality rates are 16% lower in families where the mother has completed primary education. Completing secondary education can reduce mortality rates by 26%
The 2 by 2 program consists of the following elements:
Nutrition counseling and provision of micronutrients for mother and child (training provided to local CHW or CM staff)
Monthly food basket and nutritional supplements as needed
Preventive health and hygiene bundle: Education, water filter, and hand washing station, vaccination support, deworming, well child visits
Case managers monitor program compliance (i.e. breast feeding), growth development, and preventive health service utilization
Program incentives improve health and quality of life
Currently PHI is in the planning and development stages of this program. In the meantime we are partnering with and supporting other organizations that are working on similar efforts. Do you know of an organization working on similar projects? Would you like to be involved with planning and implementing a life saving project? If so, drop us a line!