What is the HEALTHY BABY INITIATIVE?

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The Healthy Baby Initiative (HBI) provides resources, support, and assistance to pregnant mothers to ensure optimum health and well being of the child from the earliest stages of life, through pregnancy, delivery, and infancy

More specifically HBI focuses on low birth weight, premature babies, and babies with special needs.

What help do we provide?

o resources and support for ante-natal care services
o resources and support to address low birth weight in babies
o support to mothers to ensure safe and healthy delivery
o assistance to mothers with premature babies to ensure healthy growth and development
o assistance and support to mothers with special births
o resources and support for post-natal care services

Why is this important?

According to UNICEF, Babies born with low birthweight are:

“more likely to die during their first month of life and those who survive face lifelong consequences including a higher risk of stunted growth, lower IQ, and adult-onset chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. To grow a healthy baby, mothers need good nutrition and rest, adequate antenatal care, and a clean environment. Together, these ingredients for a healthy pregnancy can help to prevent, identify and treat the conditions that cause low birthweight and thus foster achievement of the World Health Assembly (WHA) nutrition target to reduce low birthweight by 30 per cent between 2012 and 2025.”

How are we doing?

The last report of the Chief Medical Officer in 2014 details the following statistics:
a. The infant mortality rate is 17/100 live births. 67% of infant deaths are in the first week of life
b. Low birth weight rate is 12% of live births
c. The stillbirth rate is 19/1000 total births
d. The perinatal mortality is 31/1000 total births
e. The neonatal mortality is 14/1000 total births

The infant factors identified as contributing to mortality are preterm birth and low birth weight. The maternal factors include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, alcohol use in pregnancy, smoking in pregnancy, HIV disease, rural residence, psychosocial stressors.

CMO’S REPORT SAINT LUCIA 2014