We’ve got something to smile about this week at the World Bank: Our baby Maya, who has shown us the importance of having a strong health system and access to quality maternal and child health care, has reached her second birthday!
To mark this special occasion, we’re launching a new video about the things that helped Maya achieve this milestone, including access to family planning and proper nutrition. These are two key services provided by well-functioning health systems that create healthy futures for mothers and their children—along with other affordable services, trained health workers, clean water, vaccines, well-equipped clinics, and many other moving parts.
The video—the second in a series that began with Maya’s birth—comes as the global health community holds a summit on family planning this week in London. I hope Maya’s story underscores what a difference access to effective family planning can make. By giving women the means to space the births of their children by three years, for example, deaths of children under-five would decrease by 35%.
Maya’s story also reminds us of the importance of good nutrition during the 1,000-day window between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday, including exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Getting it right during this critical period can have a long-term impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and prosper.
Please take a few minutes to watch our video and let us know what you think—in the comments below or on Maya’s Facebook page, where she has a loyal following. We’ll also be Tweeting about Maya, so please follow along on our Twitter feed.