In Madagascar, half the population is under the age of 18, a third of which is under the age of 5. For many of these children, basic sanitary interventions are essential in order to guarantee their survival and growth. Currently, Madagascar is actually among the six countries in the world with the highest child mortality rate. It also records a very high maternal mortality rate, as most women have no access to emergency obstetric care, and nearly half of all births occur without the assistance of a qualified doctor.
Lack of prevention, poor hygiene, difficult access to drinking water and sanitation (still impossible for half of the population) still represent the cause of the vast majority of child and maternal deaths. In the southern regions especially, chronic malnutrition of both mothers and children remains a persistent cause of death and developmental delays.
Our interventions, including vaccination, providing basic nutritional supplements, pre- and postnatal care, paediatrics and maternal care, help children and mothers survive and give them a chance to lay the foundation not only for their own physical development, but also for their mental and emotional development, as well as for the development and growth of the entire country.
During the first months of 2016, the Foundation launched a new service to deal with the malnutrition of women and children: mothers receive basic information on hygiene, nursing and eating habits, as well as food supplements; children, if they are in a state of malnutrition, are given multivitamins and highly caloric foods ("Plumpy Nut" and "Koba").
This is a multidisciplinary program, which focuses not only on the health, but also on the social, educational and psychological aspects of both the children and the mothers.
Moreover, the Foundation has been carrying out a vaccination program since its creation, which, in 2016, involved about a thousand patients who received vaccines against polio, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and pneumococcus. The HPV vaccine is also offered to young girls for the prevention of cervical cancer.
Lastly, in 2011 we contributed, in collaboration with the La Vita Per Te NGO, to the construction, setup and management of a Preventory for the care of children with severe lower limb malformations (rickets, deformed feet and more). The structure is currently able to house 65 children, with dormitories, a refectory, toilets, a gym for functional rehabilitation, a kitchen for preparing meals, 2 treatment and meeting rooms, a plaster room, a pharmacy and a recreation room.
The children of the Preventory come from all parts of Madagascar, even from villages farther than 1000 km to the North of the country.
Our medical team, made up of a specialized orthopaedic paediatric surgeon, an anaesthetist and one or more assistants, performs surgery and closely follows our young patients during the pre and post-surgery phase.