You would think that I’d be celebrating the improved child survival rate. I am, but cautiously. As Melinda Gates wrote in The Most Important Statistic Ever,
But before we move on to the detailed conversations about how to get the number even lower next year, let’s celebrate the beautiful, simple fact that it’s lower again this year. Let’s celebrate this new world record in the most important category there is.
And therein lies my concern, there are still children dying of preventable causes.
It has taken hard work and dedication by nonprofits such as UNICEF to reduce the child mortality by 300,000 lives than last year. That more children are living, including newborns, infants and children under the age of five is exemplary. The causes vary, prenatal care, breastfeeding and immunizations. Bringing these services where needed continues and learning what else is needed is ongoing. The number of children dying of preventable causes is still way too high. More needs to be done.
The goal is to proceed with this trend of improved child survival rates. UNICEF is striving toward this with their campaign, Committing to Childhood Survival: A Promise Renewed. Some of the most important sited needs in their report are pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea care, enhanced care for newborns, especially in their first 28 days, HIV and AIDS prevention, and providing proper nutrition. You can download the report for free.
I’m thrilled that so many more children survived this year. But, let’s not be complacent. We need to strive to do more than we did the year before and this year, and next year. We need to get involved, become educated and work together. And we need to expect that each year, the number of preventable childhood deaths is lessened until we don’t need progress reports.
Are you excited about the improved child survival rate? What more can we do?
As a member of the Global Team of 200, I am honored to share information and my personal opinion about the Promise Renewed Childhood Survival Rate campaign.