Improving Child Mortality

The Challenge


The definition of child mortality is “The death of children and infants under the age of five years old.” These children do not have to die. The vicious cycle of high child and infant mortality on the one hand, and of high fertility on the other, continues to pervade a large number of developing countries. These countries suffer from a lack of services and adequate living conditions, nutrition and health care that contribute to the increased child mortality rates around the world.  Many cases of child death come from preventable diseases or conditions including malnutrition, lack of safe drinking water, disease and infection. Most of these deaths could be avoided through simple, effective and inexpensive measures. The lives of children are to precious to be lost and as a society we should work to reduce these avoidable deaths. Together we can provide solutions that strengthen families and communities.

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Improving Child Mortality


Child Mortality

The definition of child mortality is “The death of children and infants under the age of five years old.” These children do not have to die. The vicious cycle of high child and infant mortality on the one hand, and of high fertility on the other, continues to pervade a large number of developing countries. These countries suffer from a lack of services and adequate living conditions, nutrition and health care that contribute to the increased child mortality rates around the world.  Many cases of child death come from preventable diseases or conditions including malnutrition, lack of safe drinking water, disease and infection. Most of these deaths could be avoided through simple, effective and inexpensive measures. The lives of children are to precious to be lost and as a society we should work to reduce these avoidable deaths. Together we can provide solutions that strengthen families and communities.

Statistics

About 29,000 children under the age of five die every day, mainly from preventable causes. More than 70 percent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth. But these aren’t inevitable, nor do children with these diseases need to die. Research and experience show that six million of the almost 11 million children who die each year could be saved by low-tech, evidence-based, cost-effective measures such as vaccines, antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets and improved family care and breastfeeding practices.

What We Are Doing

According to the World Health Organization, six solutions to the most preventable causes of under-5 deaths include; immediate and exclusive breastfeeding, skilled attendants for postnatal care, access to nutrition, family knowledge of danger signs in a child’s health, improved access to water, sanitation, and immunizations. These solutions are among the various interventions organizations are employing in their work to promote child health. They work with communities to train and equip midwives and local health workers to teach best practices in the care and nurture of young children; as well as with governments and corporate partners to provide supplies and resources to clinics and hospitals. They aim to ensure children grow up healthy in their communities, with access to basic health services, adequate nutrition, and disease prevention. Over the last decade this improvement has been happening faster than ever before. Rising prosperity, rising education and the spread of health care around the globe are the major drivers of this progress. Although the global rate of child mortality has decrease substantially we still need to work to lower these rates in developing nations.

What Needs to Be Done

Focused efforts are still needed in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia to prevent 80 per cent of child deaths. Support for accelerating immunization and oral rehydration therapy remains an essential element in decreasing these numbers. In addition to these efforts we need to promote the importance of creating sustainable environments and reducing the exposure of children to modifiable environmental hazards. Studies are taking place to show the current range of global environmental hazards to children’s health and identify necessary action to ensure that no one is left behind.

A safe, and protective environment is key to ensuring all children grow and develop normally and healthily. The world is witnessing unprecedented numbers of families forced to flee their homes. Driven by the Syria crisis and conflicts in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Burundi and Central America, they are rising every day. We need to petition our government to provide safe shelters for these children.

With a stronger emphasis on providing medical care and shelters to children in these developing nations and areas in crisis we can save the lives of children from preventable death.

A Chance at Life

Children do not have to die. Globally, we have made great strides in decreasing the preventable deaths. We need to keep this momentum and continue to work in developing nations to save as many children as a possible. With the help of nonprofits, government agencies and the volunteer work of citizens like you we can ensure these children get the chance to live a full and fulfilling life.

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