Every second a child in Indonesia dies before reaching her 5th birthday. Millions more infants are at high risk of growth & mental retardation due to malnutrition. But there is an easy & inexpensive solution: Breastfeeding. An estimated 100,000 children in Indonesia under the age of 5 could be saved if all babies were exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of life & continued breastfeeding until the age of 2 years. Your donations will help Mercy Corps expand this program & save more lives.
During the first two months of life, infants who are not breastfed are nearly 6 times more likely to die from infectious diseases than those who are breastfed. Unfortunately, the number of newborns being breastfed in Indonesia is declining due to misconceptions, an increase in the number of mothers who must work outside the home, & adverse business practices of baby formula makers who give healthcare workers incentives for encouraging new mothers to use formula rather than breastfeed.
Mercy Corps' breastfeeding & maternal-child health program is focused on infants & their mothers during pregnancy & the first 6 months of the baby's life. The program aims to promote, support, and protect poor & vulnerable mothers & babies to ensure a healthy start. We are focusing much of our work in urban slum areas where unemployment is extremely high. The program is designed to deliver information, emotional & practical support to new mothers through community-led Mercy Corps trained groups.
Mercy Corps has been working with communities, the government & healthcare providers to promote breastfeeding & maternal health in Indonesia since 2007. In line with efforts to improve the quality of maternal-child health services, Mercy Corps is piloting & testing the use of mobile technology to strengthen the existing maternal-child health service monitoring & tracking system & improve the use of data in local health planning & resource allocation which will have a long term positive impact.