Babies brains develop and expand at an exponential rate during the first 1000 days. At the time when mum’s have a thousand dreams for their child’s future, the brain is being built to enable these dreams – or not.
Each layer of the brain’s “scaffold” must be put in place, ready for the next layer to be built on it. If just one layer’s compromised, every layer above it will be too.
Whether a child is born in Malawi or the UK, this matters hugely.
In some countries in Africa, this ‘brain-scaffold’ isn’t put in place in those 1,000 days meaning up to 50% of children are physically and mentally stunted. Soberingly, this is a start from which they probably will never recover.
In the UK also, a child’s mental and later physical health is framed to a large extent in those first 1000 days.
In Africa investing in the first 1000 days has been shown to be one of the best investments that can be made and is now backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation: 1000 dreams is supported by the latest scientific research.