Start in life

Protecting life right from the start

This applies as much to Tanzania as it does to India: given basic medical care, many newborn babies have a good chance of survival.

For parents in Central Europe, the death of their own child shortly after birth is a terrifying but fortunately rare occurrence. Infant mortality in India and Tanzania is many times higher. We try to counteract this by providing professional assistance at birth, milk for newborns and other measures.

Great difference compared to Central Europe

Infant mortality is an official measurement of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It determines, in relation to a country, how many of 1,000 infants born alive die during the first twelve months of their life.

In spite of declining figures – in India and Tanzania about 42 of 1,000 babies are still dying before their first birthday. India’s rate (41.81) is only marginally lower than Tanzania’s (42.43). This shows a vast gap compared to Central Europe. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland only three to four of 1,000 infants do not survive the first twelve months.*

The causes are many and varied

Most cases originate from the poverty of the families affected. A lack of medical care, malnutrition and insufficient hygienic living conditions set a spiral in motion, where even harmless or easily treatable diseases result in death, in particular affecting babies.

Tackling problems at their roots

About two thirds of infant deaths could be prevented by taking simple measures. Medical prevention and the treatment of the small patients are important components.

In Tanzania, doctors and carers at the KIUMA-Hospital provide both out- and inpatient support at the hospital’s own delivery ward, which is also a point of contact for parents with sick babies. Families living in villages are getting support in hospital wards. Pupils of the nursing training college energetically support the skilled outpatient carers.

In respect of the Indian project, the nutrients of the free milk provided, support growth and enhance the immune system of babies. Parents can have their children examined at the hospital in Visakhapatnam, whose affiliated nursing training college gradually provides more and more well trained personnel for rural areas.

Clean drinking water is an important precautionary component in both countries. Thanks to targeted water delivery measures, such as the “Drilling wells” project in India and “Water supply” in Tanzania, families are getting access to clean drinking water.

*Source: The World Factbook (online)