Almost nine million children still die each year before they reach their fifth birthday.
Target 1: Reduce by two thirds the under-five mortality rate by 2015.
We are active in India and currently focussing on this MDG.
A Life Free From Hunger
Tackling the malnutrition is the key to improving development and child death ratios, according to Save the Children’s newly released report, A Life Free From Hunger. Malnutrition not only stunts growth and causes sickness, but also hinders economic development. The world has enough food to feed everyone, and Save the Children are recommending direction intervention methods such as vitamin provision and changes in the agricultural systems.
USAID Launches New Photo Campaign
A new campaign recently launched by USAID, ‘Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday’, aims to end preventable child deaths by 2015. The campaign is asking members of the public to upload and share photos of themselves aged 5, to show support for the campaign. There is also a ‘Call to Action’ event in June seeking to mobilise global leaders. To visit the website or post a photo, go to http://5thbday.usaid.gov/pages/home.aspx.
West Java Struggling with Infant Mortality
The rate of children dying in West Java is shockingly low, according to an article from the Jakarta Post. 14 newborn children, as well as 2 mothers, die every day. These appalling statistics are not only heartwrenching but mean the country is unlikely to achieve MDG4 on schedule. Let’s pray for the inhabitants of West Java, that they see a speedy and vast improvement in their infant mortality rates.
India 'Far' From Achieving MDG4
A new analysis by Indicus shows that India, whilst looking successful in some other areas, is far from achieving the desired infant mortality rate (IMR) by 2015. The current IMR is 47 deaths for every 1,000 live births; MDG4 aims for 27. For more information about India’s predicament click here, or for a graph with data about IMRs across the world click here.
Worries over maternal health in Ghana
Officials are worried that Ghana is a long way from achieving MDGs 4 and 5, with deaths during childbirth and poor maternal health still a common phenomenon. According to leading gynecologist Dr. Ofei, many new initiatives are under way, such as the setting up of a Maternal Mortality Taskforce, comprising obstetricians, gynecologists and midwives. Plans to set up regional blood bank to help organize store and distribute blood to GHS facilities is also on course. For more on the story, click here.
Progress in Child Well-Being: Building on What Works
UNICEF and Save the Children have just launched a new report focusing on the improvement in child health in recent years. The report is very positive in tone, stating that poverty rates have improved vastly in the last few decades. For example, compared to 1990, 12,000 fewer children under five die every day in 2010. For a UNICEF press release summarising the report, click here, or to read the full report, click here.
The Importance of Education
Good knowledge and understanding of sanitation and health issues are a decisive factor in the fight for improved child health. Read this article by World Vision to see what a difference it can make.