When I was 15, I came across an article explaining that 1 in every 8 children in Nigeria dying before they reached their 5th birthday, or 118 of every 1,000 live births. To put that in perspective, the US has a child mortality rate of less than 1 in every 100. The numbers were startling.
Going further into the child mortality internet rabbit hole, I discovered that, after vaccines, exclusive breastfeeding is the best way to tackle the crisis. It makes sense: breastfeeding provides "natural immunization" against illnesses with no vaccine. The mother's antibodies travel to the child through her breastmilk.
It doesn't require any travel, additional infrastructure, or social barrier to cross. 99% of mothers can produce breastmilk without even leaving their home.
So if it's that easy, why aren't mothers doing it?
That's why I created Mwana. Children shouldn't have to fear their lives being taken everyday from something that we can stop.
Because, we can stop it.
The developed world has had child mortality rates decline for the past century. Improvements in sanitation, vaccination development and delivery, and medical treatments, such as antibiotics, led to dramatic declines in deaths from infectious diseases during the 20th century.
But, for Nigeria, the numbers have barely budged. Progress needs to be equal.
Take a look at the chart. That's what we're changing.