Today, Tuesday, Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population, launched the President of the Republic’s initiative, “The Thousand Golden Days for the Development of the Egyptian Family,” under the umbrella of 100 million health.
The minister thanked Dr. Abla Al-Alfi, general supervisor of the initiative, for her insistence on bringing this initiative to light, pointing out that the Egyptian state, commissioned by the President of the Republic, pays great attention to the population issue file in order to improve population characteristics in quantity and quality to achieve development and improve reproductive rates and maternal health during Pregnancy and postpartum.
In his speech, the minister said that talking about the population issue today has become in order to achieve real development in its comprehensive concept that guarantees the right of the child to grow up in a healthy family atmosphere, the right of the mother to enjoy a healthy life with family warmth, and the right of the father also to have a healthy family, and thus The concept of the population issue expanded to include the concept of the issue of every Egyptian family, and thus the issue of a nation.
Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar revealed that, according to recent surveys, the population of Egypt reached 105 million citizens, with an annual birth rate of 2.2 million citizens, and that the poorest and least educated areas are the most productive and have increased phenomena of female genital mutilation, child labor and early marriage, and thus the incidence of diseases increases. Pointing out that the health map, which was carried out through the 100 Million Health Campaign, revealed that women who have more children are more likely to develop breast cancer, and that the convergence between pregnancies and non-breastfeeding is also one of the causes of breast cancer.
The minister added that statistics have proven that lack of social distancing and family planning creates children with autism and some psychological disorders, explaining that the goal is not to reduce population numbers, but to improve population characteristics and quality of life, and to produce a healthy generation capable of keeping pace with the times and participating in national development.
He stressed that the population issue must be an integrated plan among the entire spectrum of society, including religious, cultural and family institutions, and there must be legislation dealing with issues of child labor and child marriage in order to protect the rights of the family and children, stressing the role of the media alongside religious institutions within the framework of a plan based on coordination and harmony in a way that contributes to in achieving the development sought by the state.
He stressed that the initiative provides its services free of charge to all members of Egyptian families, especially mothers, fathers and grandparents, in primary health care facilities and in public and central hospitals in all governorates, in addition to remote awareness sessions using electronic communication, as the initiative is one of the most important initiatives to build the Egyptian person. Given that it represents a comprehensive approach for the first 1000 days of human life with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of the first thousand days of life, where 85% of the child’s mental, psychological and physical abilities are formed during this vital period (the golden thousand days includes the pregnancy period of 270 days in addition to the first two years of life which is 730 days).
For her part, Dr. Abla Al-Alfi, the General Supervisor of the initiative, gave an explanation of the stages of the initiative’s work, from its conception until it was implemented on the ground, noting that the pilot phase began in July 2022 in the governorates of Alexandria, Sohag and the Red Sea, and that the first phase of the initiative will be implemented on the 10th. The governorates are: Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Beheira, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Luxor, Port Said, Sharkia, and the Red Sea, from September 2023 to June 2024, adding that the second phase of the initiative will be implemented from July 2024 to December 2025 “and covers 17 governorates, namely: Fayoum, Qena, Dakahlia, Qalyubia, Damietta, Ismailia, Suez, South Sinai, North Sinai, Cairo, Giza, Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Aswan, and the New Valley.
Al Alfy explained that the initiative also aims to reduce caesarean section, which still records high rates compared to most countries in the world, pointing out that the initiative aims to raise community awareness of the importance and optimal methods of early childhood care in order to improve health care outcomes, improve population characteristics, and confront societal traditions and behaviors. Inappropriate such as early marriage, successive pregnancies, as well as consanguineous marriage, as well as providing post-marital counseling in order to provide young people who are about to get married with the necessary skills to maintain the integrity of marriage and build a strong family.
Al Alfy added that the implementation of the initiative on the ground will ensure benefiting from global trends in the field of child and newborn care by establishing the importance of the role of a trained midwife and doula (trained childbirth assistant) in supporting safe natural childbirth, as well as raising awareness of the importance of spacing successive pregnancies from 3 Up to 5 years, as well as the importance of breastfeeding, ensuring the seven rights of the first child, which is preparing a strong and conscious family, postponing the first pregnancy for at least a year to ensure family stability and preparation for pregnancy, ensuring a safe pregnancy, preparing for a safe natural birth, paying attention to the first golden hour, and optimal care In the first two years of the child’s life, and the spacing between the two consecutive pregnancies from 3 to 5 years.
At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Abla Al-Alfi presented a shield of honor to Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population, in appreciation of his efforts in supporting the initiative and its obtaining the patronage of the President of the Republic.