SPF Project


Funded by: Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

Programme Manager: Khuzwayo August

Sector: Health


The Saving Lives at Birth Programe supports programming in maternal, new-born and child health, immunization, family planning and reproductive health, nutrition, health systems strengthening, water/sanitation/hygiene, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and pediatric HIV care and treatment. The access of mothers and children to medical services and health care during the first 1000 days of life were identified as an important area for the programme to focus on.  The project aims to develop a systematic care and support system that will respond to the needs of children under 2 years to ensure their survival and development. The project will create systems that will address and prevent child and maternal mortality.

Executive Summary

It is with great pleasure for Small Projects Foundation to have collaborated over the last year with the NMCF in implementing the Saving Lives at Birth Programme. This programme incorporates the 1st Thousand days (“Child Survival and Development programme) in the area of Ngqeleni Cluster with five health care facilities and their catchment areas. The important highlights of the programme are the importance of the first two years of infancy and childhood in a child’s development and the impact of these factors on the rest of the child’s life cycle. 

The South African Nutrition Roadmap places nutrition and immunisation in children at the centre of improved education and economic prospects of South Africans in the coming decades. Furthermore, in areas with a high incidence of household food insecurity, young children are at a high risk of not meeting their nutritional needs during this crucial period of growth and development.

As the period up until a child’s second birthday is the most crucial for growth and development, it is also likely the best time for effective nutritional intervention and prevention of controllable illnesses.  Solutions aimed at young women and mothers in food-insecure communities not only improve household-level food security, but impact directly on the nutritional intake of the most vulnerable- infants and young children in marginalised communities. This nutritional intervention helps to identify immune-compromised children and reinforces adherence to treatment by HIV positive women and their babies. The success of the project is based on the support of the NMCF Project Champions, locally based support from the OR Tambo Department of Health, Nyandeni Local Service Area, and Ngqeleni Cluster management team and from identified clinics as beneficiaries of the programme as well as clinic supervisors.


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