Over four thousand children under the age of five die each year in The Gambia. More than half of these child deaths are due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple interventions.
The 48 hours immediately following birth is the most crucial period for newborn survival. Children in sub-Saharan Africa are 15 times more likely to die before the age of five than children in Europe.
A child's risk of dying is highest in the neonatal period, the first 28 days of life. Safe childbirth and effective neonatal care are essential to prevent these deaths. 44% of child deaths under the age of five take place during this neonatal period. Within the first month, up to one half of all deaths occur within the first 24 hours of life, and 75% in the first week.
A pilot initiative will be set up with a number of outreach clinics to create a model for raising the standard of outreach maternity and infant care and developing an effective triage system which identifies those who need to be referred to the Horizons Clinic.