Did you know that the first 1000 days of a child’s life is the most important for his/her well-being? We like to call it the brain’s ‘window of opportunity’ to grow to be the best it can. While the human brain continues to develop and change throughout life, the most rapid period of brain growth is in the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life.
This means that up until a child’s second birthday, it will be more important than ever for him/her to get nutritious food, loving care, and learning aids to kick-start brain development.
Yet in many countries, both mothers and children do not receive the nutrition and care they need to take advantage of this fertile time.
Data from National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in Malaysia indicated that the instances of stunting among children between 12-23 months has increased over the last decade from 8.9% in 2006 to 17.0% in 2016. Data from NHMS 2016 also shows that wasting (11.6%) amongst children between 12-23 months remains a high public health concern based on to World Health Organization (WHO) threshold. Overall 8.2% of infants under 6 months were reported overweight and 10.9% were wasted in Malaysia (NHMS, 2016).