2011-15 Challenge: Mothers and family caregivers

The HIFA 2011 Challenge addresses the information and learning needs of Mothers and family caregivers. Our goal: By 2015, every mother and family caregiver will have access to the information and knowledge they need to prevent illness and injury, to recognise serious illness, to provide basic care, to seek timely help for medical and surgical care, and to save lives. From 2011-2015 we commit to bring together more than 4000 professionals from 2000 organisations, to address these issues on the HIFA2015, CHILD2015 and HIFA2015-Portuguese email forums.

Mothers and family caregivers

The health knowledge of mothers and family caregivers can often mean the difference between life and death, especially for children. For example:

  • In Africa, up to 80% of child deaths occur at home. [1]
  • A study in India found that four in ten mothers believed they should withhold fluids if their child develops diarrhoea – potentially and tragically contributing to the death of their own child. Almost 1000 children die every day in India alone. Most of their lives would have been saved if their mothers and carers had known to give more fluids with the correct amount of added sugar (6 level teaspoons in 1 litre water) and salt (half teaspoon in 1 litre). [2,3]
  • 8 in 10 caregivers in developing countries do not know the two key symptoms of childhood pneumonia – fast and difficult breathing – which indicate the need for urgent treatment (only 20% of children with pneumonia receive antibiotics despite wide availability, and 2 million die each year). [4]

Further information will be available here shortly. To participate, join HIFA2015 today!.

Martin Carroll (British Medical Association)
Joint Co-Ordinator, HIFA Challenge Working Group

Sue Jacob (Royal College of Midwives)
Joint Co-Ordinator, HIFA Challenge Working Group

Neil Pakenham-Walsh (Global Healthcare Information Network)
Coordinator, HIFA2015

[1] Oluwole D, Mason E, Costello A. Management of childhood illness in Africa. BMJ 2000;320:594-5

[2] Wadhwani N. An integrated approach to reduce childhood mortality and morbidity due to diarrhoea and dehydration.

[3] UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS, WFP and the World Bank. Facts for Life, 4th edition, 2010.

[4] Wardlaw T et al. Pneumonia: the leading killer of children. Lancet 2006;368:1048-50