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BARRIERS TO ACHIEVING ADEQUATE NUTRITION DURING THE FIRST 1000 DAYS OF LIFE 

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UNEMPLOYMENT & POVERTY

South Africa has an unemployment rate of 30.1%, with the Eastern Cape's unemployment rate being the highest in the country. In the first quarter of 2020, unemployment in the Eastern Cape hit 40.5%. These very high unemployment rates mean that many households in South Africa, and particularly the Eastern Cape, receive no form of income for their families.

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LIMITED KNOWLEDGE & RESOURCES

The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (WHO/UNICEF, 2003) states that “knowledge is often a greater determinant of malnutrition than the lack of food”. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals receive only limited training on the importance of nutrition in early life, resulting in inadequate nutrition support and education for parents and their infants.

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BARRIERS TO BREASTFEEDING

In today’s world, not all mothers are able to, or want to (exclusively) breastfeed. This can be for many reasons, namely reasons related to individual determinants, social attitudes, medical conditions and/or work and employment conditions. One of the most popular concerns of mothers in South Africa is the fear of HIV transmission to their children when breastfeeding.

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