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Health News of Monday, 19 November 2012

Source: GNA

Majority of preventable child deaths occur in middle-income countries - Report

Majority of preventable child deaths had occurred in middle-income countries and 42 per cent reduction in child deaths took place over the past 22 years. A World Vision (WV) report, made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday, said that the United Nations (UN) child mortality goal was 15 years off track.

It said political action for the most vulnerable would save more than four million children each year.

The report said more than 4.4 million children are killed each year by six of the most preventable causes of diseases with the majority of them happening in middle-income countries.

It said: “Child mortality is not an issue that is unique to only developing countries. The bulk of preventable child deaths happen in countries that have the resources to put an end to this injustice. At the current rate, there will be almost 100 million preventable child deaths in the next 20 years if political action is not accelerated”.

The report said millions of children would still die needlessly every year unless the six main killers of children under the age of five are prevented, and governmental action needed to save the lives of more than four million children each year.

It said each year preterm complications kill one million children, pneumonia, one million children, newborn infections 700,000 children, diarrhea, 700,000 children, birth complications, 600,000 children and malaria, 500,000 children.

The report said:“These killers are neither surprising nor complicated. Pneumonia, for example, can be bacterial or viral, but both types are generally preventable through good nutrition, hygiene and appropriate care for children”.

It said over the past 22 years, significant progress had been made with a 42 percent reduction in the number of children under the age of five dying each year.

The report said: “But this is not good enough for the millions who could be saved every year. The UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce child deaths by two thirds by 2015 is off target by 15 years, and what makes this even more tragic is that it’s entirely preventable.

“Unlike some of the other Millennium Development Goals, we have all the tools and knowledge needed to meet the goal of reducing child mortality, so there is no justifiable reason for this goal to be so far off track. Some governments who have pledged to slash mortality rates are dragging their heels, and the time we’re losing means lost lives”.

It said from November 13-20, the WVI would organise its first Global Week of Action, a mobilization designed to increase attention on the urgent need to end preventable deaths of children under five in the world.

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