What We Do

The main purpose of the Coalition is advocacy for the health of newborns, children, adolescents, women and mothers. This will entail increasing public and relevant sectoral awareness of the issues; raising the profile of the cause; influencing change through appropriate policy and legislation; activating political and social support for these changes; and holding government, health providers and others to account for the commitments made to women, adolescents and children.

Build and advocate for civil society engagement in policy, strategy, communication strategy, and governance discussions.
Engage, advocate, inform and invigorate the agenda for maternal health.
Create a strong and acknowledged platform for civil society organizations (CSOs) to influence relevant policies, legislation and political and social changes to improve newborn, child, adolescent, women’s and maternal health.
Establish mechanisms for CSOs to gather, share and disseminate evidence-based knowledge, information, key health messages and best practices in order to improve alignment and support coherent campaigning. Increase awareness and demand in the community for public health services, by focusing on key moments in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) that are beyond the reach of the National Department of Health (NDoH)

THEMATIC AREAS

Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity. Healthy children learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both under nutrition and overweight, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This fact file explores the risks posed by all forms of malnutrition, starting from the earliest stages of development, and the responses that the health system can give directly and through its influence on other sectors, particularly the food system.

 

Investing in our health system’s scope for ECD services during pregnancy and the first two years of life is easier, less costly and more effective than trying to intervene later in preschool and formal education settings. By the time children reach three years old, and enter ECD centres, it is too late. We invest so much time and money in these centres, yet we have missed the window of opportunity. We then face the risk that their brains will not have developed optimally to support future learning and development it is a case of too little too late. The health system, because it already reaches nearly every mother and child, is the most feasible platform from which to launch services. Its extensive primary health care platform includes both home-based and clinic visits just at the right time in a child’s life. Can the health system do this? Yes, the policy and service delivery footprint is in place. The foundations just need to be strengthened.

SACSoWACH COALITION

The main purpose of the Coalition is advocacy for the health of newborns, children, adolescents, women and mothers.