One and half year old girl  was critically ill  because of

pneumonia and malnutrition.

Carrying the girl on her back and walking for more than two hours to the nearest health center, her mother could get help  and save  the  life of  her daughter. (Madagascar)

Our vision is to have every child have the best start in life from birth into adulthood.

However, many children don’t have the opportunity to grow up into a healthy adulthood.


An estimated 5.6 million children die each year before celebrating their 5th birthday.


45% of under five mortality occurs in the first 28 days of life - 2.6 million annually.


Main cause of under 5 mortality is related to stunting (chronic malnutrition).


Pneumonia and diarrhoea are leading killers of the world’s youngest children, accounting for 29 per cent of deaths among children under age 5 – or more than 2 million lives lost each year.

Acute malnutrition (lower weight for age) affects 16 million children under the age of 5 globally.


Stunting  is defined as shorter height for age compared to same sex/age standard.


Recent studies on nutrition and development have shown various consequences caused by stunting.

Once a child is stunted, their cognitive capacity and physically development,

school performance and earning capacity will be affected.


It also reveals that, when  a child has adequate nutrition and care in the first 1000 days,

this child will be healthier and thrive.


In partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, UNICEF implemented "The First 1000 Days" health and nutrition program in Benin, Madagascar and Rwanda - where under-five mortality and stunting were disproportionately high.



・Total Contribution: 1 billion Japanese yen over 5 years (2017-2022)

All “the first 1000 days” interventions are basic and simple, not advanced care.

Train staff to learn proper knowledge and care.

Equip necessary medicine and  materials.

Educate mothers and family to take care of babies in right way.

Interventions are varied and based on the country contexts,  the following are  standard examples.



Strengthened workforce (community health worker), improved access to service in remote areas,

support pregnant women

and new-borns.


Improved  nutrition among

pregnant women and infant,

treatment, raise awareness/

knowledge about nutrition.


1. Care of new-born with symptoms of disease

2. Training of Community Health Worker on maternal  and  new-born health

3. Health facilities with equipment /staff





1. Sensitize  mothers  on nutrition

2. Treatment for severe acute malnutrition

3. Procure/Distribute nutrition supplies




Where possible, innovation like SMS-based technology developed by UNICEF  and application

(e.g. supply and logistics for essential medicines)  will be piloted and scaled up.

※photos taken in African countries ,(C)UNICEF

Key Objectives

The programme aimed to support total 1.3 million mothers and babies with 5 years in 3 countries, Benin, Madagascar and Rwanda.

Outcome 1

Outcome 2

Improved access to quality health services for mothers and children within the first 1,000 days

Fighting against stunting

and other forms

of malnutrition

In the next 5 years,

you could help improve access to services

for an estimated 395,000

pregnant mothers and strengthen

new born care for

323,000 children

In the next 5 years,

you could help

improve the nutritional status of

an estimated 582,000

under 5 children

Three African countries to be supported.

Stunting persists globally (Source: UNICEF, WHO, World Bank Joint Child Malnutrition dataset, September 2016 update)


Results and Impacts

The programme has helped the three target countries make great strides in providing safe and healthy environment for children to survive and thrive. It has also reached more than 2.6 million people, far exceeding its original target of 1.3 million people.

“First 1000 Days” Health/Nutrition Programme supported by Takeda

Thanks to Takeda’s contributions, we have been able to take a step forward in creating a brighter future for generations to come, by ensuring that all children have the chance to survive and thrive.