Ensuring adequate intake of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) during the first 1000 days of life – a period of rapid growth and brain development – is critical. Physiological requirements of certain key micronutrients increase markedly during this period but are often not met due to poor quality diets (e.g. lack of micronutrient-dense foods) or poor micronutrient bioavailability. This can have detrimental short- and long-term health consequences for the mother and her child. Unlike inadequate or excessive intake of macronutrients, chronic micronutrient deficiencies often go undetected, which is why they are also termed “hidden hunger”.
Therefore, efforts to prevent and manage micronutrient deficiencies, especially during the first 1000 days of life, should be given high priority. Such efforts include supporting women and their families in improving their own and their children’s micronutrient intake and status.
As Healthcare Professionals, we have an important role to play in the optimisation of micronutrient status during the first 1000 days of life, which will improve the short- and long-term health of women and their children and contribute towards the eradication of poverty.
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Module aims and learning outcomes
This eLearning module aims to create an in-depth understanding of the importance of optimising micronutrient nutrition during the first 1000 days of life. It will equip you with evidence-based knowledge on how to best support mothers, families, and caregivers during the first 1000 days.
We hope that this module motivates and enables you to integrate the optimisation of micronutrient nutrition into your daily practice by:
- Highlighting the importance of optimal micronutrient nutrition during the first 1000 days of life.
- Providing evidence-based knowledge on how to prevent and manage deficiencies in key micronutrients during this critical window of growth and development.
After completion of this module, you will demonstrate the following:
- Detailed understanding of the importance of optimising micronutrient nutrition during the first 1000 days of life.
- Detailed knowledge of context-specific factors contributing towards micronutrient deficiencies during different stages of the first 1000 days of life.
- Detailed understanding of the short- and long-term consequences of micronutrient deficiencies during the first 1000 days of life.
- Contextual knowledge of how micronutrient intake and status can be optimised during different stages of the first 1000 days of life.
South Africa or similar settings
To receive your Certificate of Completion, you must successfully pass the Module Test , which can be accessed following completion of all 3 units.
This module is accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for 4 CEU's.