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2009.01.13

* UNICEF flagship report: Applying community care to newborn health in Senegal
* 시간: 03 min
* 촬영도시: Dakar & Kolda
* 촬영국가: Senegal
* 촬영일자: 01 Apr 2008


Daddo Sabaly's first four children all died before their first birthday. The first one didn't even reach one month.


They all died of either disease or malnutrition. Sabaly lives in the Kolda region of Senegal, which historically has had one of the country's highest rates of infant mortality.


Her fifth child, a boy named Abdoulaye, is now five, and she had a healthy girl nine months ago.


Sabaly credits a community health center for her children's survival.


"At first Abdoulaye was suffering from malnutrition," she says.
"But we went to the community center, where I learned to properly feed him and he got better."


The community center is supported by UNICEF and offers mothers like Sabaly a comprehensive approach to medical care. Infants are weighed and measured regularly to detect early malnutrition.


Mothers are encouraged to breast feed exclusively, and they're also given micronutrient supplements, as well as insecticide-treated bed nets to ward off malarial mosquitoes, one of the top killers of children in Africa.


The Senegalese government, with help from UNICEF and other partners, has reduced malnutrition here from 22 percent to 17 percent in the ten years leading up to 2005.


UNICEF credits an aggressive approach that embraces the community as part of the solution.


UNICEF's Ian Hopwood says,
"I think there are two or three strategies. One is the strategy of trying to involve more of the community: community-based health workers and the families. And I think this has been best demonstrated by the whole experience of the community's treatment of acute respiratory infections, of pneumonias, which kill maybe 20 percent of children under five who die in this country."


Another strategy is to involve grandmothers, who play an important guardian role in Senegalese society.


These elderly women are encouraged to gather with their daughters and grandchildren in a central location, and pass along generations of wisdom about what it takes to keep young children, and their mothers, alive and healthy. Dr. Guelaye Sall is one of the leading paediatricians in Senegal, as well as a university professor.


He's pushing the country to expand programs that work on a local level.


"There must be a major effort to apply this local level program across the whole country of Senegal."


Half the children in Senegal who die under five are less than a year old.


Many die in the first hours and days of life. Creati

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