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Fellow launches campaign to end 'silent epidemic'


2015 Tutu Fellow and novelist, Dr Kopano Matlwa Mabaso, is spearheading a campaign which aims to bring South Africa closer to achieving zero stunting in children by 2030.

The Grow Great campaign involves young people taking “action” through social media - highlighting important issues and applying pressure on their governments to take action. The campaign also keeps tabs on countries’ funding commitments and encourages citizens to undertake volunteer work to earn rewards such as festival tickets. The campaign was invited to be part of the Global Poverty Project, which, through its Global Citizen movement, engages with pop stars and other influencers to create impactful music festivals and campaigns that aim to convince global leaders to change policies and pledge funding.

Dr Mabaso’s campaign emphasizes the need to prevent stunting in children. Statistics reflect that one in four South African children is stunted, usually as a result of prolonged poor nutrition from pregnancy to early childhood. This condition manifests in lowered physical and intellectual growth, and, in the long run, will cripple any chances of them succeeding in life.

“In SA, we have focused our care on children surviving, but not on children thriving. Stunting is a silent epidemic. By not addressing it, we are robbing ourselves and our children of a future where all South Africans have a fair chance to achieve their full potential,” said Mabaso.

Mabaso believes the campaign is a great opportunity to spread awareness, as well as get young people interested and involved in these important issues.

The 33-year-old medical doctor is the author of ‘Coconut’, ‘Spilt Milk’ and Period Pain: A Novel, amongst others. She completed a Master’s in global health science and a Doctorate in population health at Oxford University.

Read more about the campaign.

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Sunday, 15 December 2019

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