Child Survival and Development
With Child mortality being labelled as a critical health issue as a result of malnutrition, lack of immunisation and access of mothers and children to medical services and health care, the first 1000 days of life became an important area for the Fund to focus on. The Fund's response is derived from an analysis of the scope of the problem, existing solutions and outstanding gaps.
The purpose of this intervention is to make certain that the care system respond to the needs of children under the ages of 3 to better ensure their survival, development and thriving. The Fund's role is to act with extreme vigilance in closing the gaps through Immunisation Coverage, HIV -AIDS Treatment or Prevention and tackling Malnutrition.
The Fund's approach is about developing an activity based implementation plan considering the existing gaps at that level due to resource constraints. The plan is made up of three inter related components to address most of the gaps in the top five worst affected districts of O.R. Tambo, Alfred Nzo and Joe Gqabi in the Eastern Cape, Zululand in Kwazulu Natal and John Taolo in the Northern Cape.
Child headed households and children who are caring for sick parents as a result of the HIV Aids pandemic are supported through the Goelama programme which has now expanded to address the vulnerability of children that stems from poverty.
With support from NMCF communities have developed their own responses to ensure that children are financially and emotionally supported, and wherever possible maintain access to education, despite the responsibilities they are bearing.
NMCF partners are ensuring that communities provide a safety net for these vulnerable children through pre and after school care, and provision of practical help such as food parcels.
Longer term, they are also encouraged to establish income generating activities such as bakeries, school uniform production and vegetable gardens which will ensure financial independence in the future.