Though we are making steady progress, the fight against child mortality is far from won. Every year, 8.1 million children under five die from diseases that are mostly preventable. Even more shocking than these statistics is the fact that we—our world, our country and our community—hold solutions. In the majority of cases, we have the means to prevent and treat infections and diseases that contribute to child mortality.
Millennium Development Goal 4 aims to reduce child mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. In line with this goal, Compassion’s Child Survival Program assists children from before birth to the age of three to prevent premature death, secure good health and enable positive early child development.
Progress so far
Since 1990, 12,000 fewer children around the world die every day. That’s roughly 180 school bus loads!
What remains to be done
Despite this effort, there are still 22,000 children under the age of five who die every day from diseases and complications that are mostly preventable. Significantly, 41 per cent of these deaths happen in the first month of the child’s life. Four diseases—pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and HIV/AIDS—caused 43 per cent of all deaths in children under five worldwide in 2008.
While the speed at which child mortality rates are declining has improved in the last ten years, it is still not decreasing fast enough to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 and reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.
Compassion’s Child Survival Program focuses on each individual child, from before they are born, to make sure they are loved, practically provided for and wholly supported as an individual. Babies and caregivers are given much-needed help and assistance through education, guidance and pre and post-natal care, including:
- Medical assistance
- Pre-natal and post-natal care
- Nutritious food
- Training on providing a safe home environment and age-appropriate development opportunities
- Literacy, numeracy and vocational training
- Support for engaging in income-generating activities
- Spiritual nurture.
Visit the Child Advocacy Network website to find out how you can get involved in the fight against child mortality.