International child development charity, Compassion UK, hosted an event at Westminster on 10 May, sponsored by Tim Farron MP, to celebrate the results of “Different Path,” a three-year child survival project in Togo with UK aid.
In the West African nation, 396 per 100,000 women do not survive childbirth and 63 per 1000 babies don’t reach their first birthday. In response to these statistics and to support the Togolese government, Compassion UK and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) partnered together on a three-year, £1 million project to increase the survival rates of children in three regions in Togo.
More than 2,300 mothers and babies in Togo were a part of the project, improving the maternal health and child survival statistics in each local community, including:
In order to ensure sustainable change, Compassion worked in partnership with local churches and organisations in communities where mothers need support, education and access to healthcare, the Different Path project included 23 child survival projects in Togo,
Paul Dymott, Compassion UK Development and Programme Manager, says: “The statistics before we began the Different Path project were startling. But three years after we began, the results are just as startling and show how, when you put development funding into the hands of local experts, and run projects in partnership with local churches and organisations, lasting impact is achievable. Projects like Different Path are a vital part of our work to protect and empower every child left vulnerable by poverty.”
The Different Path project delivered on all its targets by placing a Child Survival Implementer in each community. These implementers live in the community, often came from a medical background, and help to deliver workshops on nutrition, health and child development milestones, home visits to ensure the teaching was being embedded in the family, malaria net distribution, nutritional food supplements, financial support to access and attend ante-natal classes, health check-ups and access medication and surgery if required. Each birth had a medical professional in attendance and the project provided post-natal follow ups and vaccinations for the new-borns.
Compassion continues to work to improve maternal, new-born and child health to improve the survival projects and ensure they are meeting the contextual needs of the mothers and babies they are serving. There are currently 2,094 Survival projects, across 26 countries, serving 61,458 mothers and babies.
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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.