MAITS has developed a life-saving infant feeding programme for high-risk babies which reached 58,985 babies. Complications for premature babies are the main cause of death in under 5's, responsible for 1 million deaths in 2015. Most premature babies will have difficulty breastfeeding. MAITS trainers & master trainers work directly with mothers & babies to establish breastfeeding. We plan to expand this to Liberia through a skill-sharing project & introduce weaning support in Rwanda
15 million babies are born premature each year. In developing countries 50% of babies born at 32 weeks die due to lack of support including to breastfeed. In Liberia, 14% of infants are born premature, in Rwanda it is the leading cause of child death. Our feeding programme aims to reduce infant mortality and malnutrition in Rwanda and Liberia by teaching life-saving techniques to local staff and master trainers. We will train 26 healthcare staff and reach 415 mothers & babies in the first year.
This life-saving infant feeding programme uses simple techniques and low-cost, low-tech methods to teach healthcare providers to 1) support babies with feeding difficulties to breastfeed and 2) Support weaning onto complementary food at 6 months. This increases their chances of survival and improved development. We have piloted this training in Sri Lanka, Malawi and Uganda training 199 staff, reaching 58,000+ babies. 60% started in minutes, 100% established breastfeeding within 2 weeks!
The programme is sustainable. It builds the skills of 26 local healthcare professionals in neonatal units who will maintain providing breastfeeding & weaning support to mothers & babies. It trains 2 local master trainers who will then roll out training on an ongoing basis under the clinical supervision of MAITS trainers. This simple & effective training will improve long-term outcomes; reducing the risk of malnutrition, stunting & wasting. Mortality rates have fallen from 14% to 8% in 5 months!