SurfAid Saves Children’s Lives

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Photo By: Bob Barker

Did you know that more than 6 million children die before their 5th birthday every year? That’s 17,000 children dying every single day.

While this travesty affects every nation, some counties suffer disproportionally. Indonesia is among the top 10 countries for young lives lost to preventable disease. The latest Indonesian statistics show that every hour 20 babies die. Half of these babies are less than 1 month old. In remote areas, like where SurfAid works, these figures are even more dire.

It is estimated that 70% of infant and child deaths are preventable with basic resources such as basic health care, access to clean water, and improved nutrition. It is for this reason, SurfAid partners with extremely remote and underdeveloped islands in Indonesia to create sustainable, community driven programmes that improve access to these basic resources.

SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health programmes in Nias, the Mentawai, Sumba and Sumbawa contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, because SurfAid, like the UN, recognises this goal as a human right. SurfAid combats infant and child mortality with practical support – community health posts, clean water facilities, and nutrition gardens – as well as complementary education programmes that promote healthy behaviours. Central to SurfAid success are these 3 behaviour changes:

Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life is the best source of nutrition for newborns. It reinforces the immune system and thereby reduces the incidence and severity of infectious diseases. It is at SurfAid’s community health posts that mums learn the lifesaving importance of breastfeeding.

Photo By: Bob Barker

Handwashing with soap and water is a simple hygienic practice that can prevent 1 of every 3 cases of diarrhea in young children and almost 1 of every 6 cases of respiratory infections such as pneumonia; the two leading causes of death among children under 5. Handwashing with running water is possible thanks to SurfAid’s clean water facilities.

Photo By: Meitty

A nutritious, balanced diet combats malnutrition in children under 5. SurfAid promotes healthy eating through cooking classes using vegetables grown in SurfAid-supported nutrition gardens. 

Photo By: Risna

SurfAid specialises in providing low-cost, simple and effective sustainable solutions tailored to each specific community we work with. Practical support, in combination with basic health promoting behaviours, are saving lives. SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health programmes are having remarkable results. On the island of Nias we have seen the number of children under 5 dying fall from 22 every year to just 1 death reported last year.

This is your work. This is your donation, your attendance at a SurfAid event, your participation in a SurfAid Cup, your home-grown fundraiser, following us on Facebook and Instagram, your subscription to our newsletter, your passion. While there is more work to do, this is cause for celebration.

On behalf of the SurfAid team and the families we support, thank you!

You are literally saving children’s lives.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2000, the world set out on a plan to tackle inequality in its many forms through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was an ambitious 15-year plan, with solid progress made in some areas by 2015, but significant work remaining.

After years of global planning and review, in 2016 the world began working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with measurable targets set to be achieved by 2030.

SurfAid’s programmes contribute to a number of the SDGs as we do our part to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.