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Uploaded on Nov 27, 2011
(By UN Millennium Campaign YouTube) - This video shows the importance of combating and reducing by two thirds the mortality rate for children under five years of age by 2015. With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York in September 2010 to boost progress towards the realization of the MDGs.
Deaths in children under five have declined steadily worldwide. In 2007, the global under-five mortality rate was 67 deaths per 1,000 live births, down from 93 in 1990. That year, more than 12.6 million young children died from largely preventable or treatable causes; the figure has declined to around 9 million today, despite population growth.
For the developing regions as a whole, the under-five mortality rate dropped from 103 in 1990 to 74 in 2007. Still, many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, have made little or no progress at all. The levels are highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where, in 2007, close to one in seven children died before his or her fifth birthday. Together with high levels of fertility, this has resulted in an increase in the absolute number of under-five deaths —from 4.2 million in 1990 to 4.6 million in 2007. Sub-Saharan Africa now accounts for half of all deaths among children under five.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia remain overriding priorities, and intensified efforts hold promise. Across sub-Saharan Africa, recent survey data show remarkable improvements in several key child-survival interventions that are expected to yield further declines in under-five mortality over the next few years. These include vitamin A supplementation, the use of insecticide-treated bed nets (to prevent malaria), exclusive breastfeeding and immunization. In addition, there has been wider coverage of critical HIV interventions in most sub-Saharan countries where HIV prevalence is high. This includes antiretroviral treatment for pregnant mothers who are HIV-positive, to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies.
What needs to be done for the MDG 4?
Measures to achieve the necessary reductions in child mortality should include:
- Ensure full coverage of immunization programmes. - Scale up vitamin A supplementation. - Pursue exclusive breastfeeding for children under 6 months of age and breastfeeding plus appropriate complementary feeding for children aged 6 months to two years. - Provide adequate nourishment for children of poor families, despite food price rises. Promote hand-washing and treatment of home drinking water. - Target the underlying socioeconomic causes of child mortality such as mothers' access to reproductive health, education and employment. - Prevent and provide effective treatment of pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other infectious diseases. - Promote comprehensive and universal coverage of primary health-care systems — with the engagement of community health workers —accompanied by sustained delivery of health services and women's education programmes. - Inject additional aid flows, on the order of $10.2 billion per year, to ensure sufficient financing for the strengthening of health systems to meet the demand for maternal and childcare and other reproductive health services.