Target: Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)
Goal: Reduce global infant mortality rates by focusing on the improvement of newborn and maternal health care.
Children’s welfare organization Save the Children has just released a report on infancy survival rates from around the world. According to the research, proper newborn care is not made readily available to mothers and children on many parts of the planet—leading to vast amounts of child deaths each and every year.
The results of the study, published in the health journal Health Policy and Planning explains that 40% of preventable child deaths occur within the first month of the child’s life. While it is unclear why the issue has not drawn as much concern until now, what is clear is the area in which global powers need to now focus their support. “We must make sure to focus global efforts on when kids are dying,” explained Carolyn Miles, Save the Children’s CEO and President. “Shockingly, this is right at the start of their lives when they are newborn babies.”
Thanks to technological advancements and better knowledge of diseases, progress has been made possible over the years—this year, an expected 7 million children are going to succumb to preventable illnesses worldwide—down from the 12.4 million children that died in 1990. But even with these promising results, there are still approximately 20,000 children dying each day, a fact that has tremendous repercussions to a society’s stability and peace.
Fortunately, the news has arrived just before Washington’s “Child Survival: Call to Action” forum (scheduled to take place this week, June 15-16)—hosted by India, Ethiopia, and the Obama administration—in order to increase efforts that would reduce the number of deaths among children. “This week’s ‘Child Survival Call to Action’ presents a tremendous opportunity for world leaders to finish what they started and end preventable child deaths. They must make babies a core focus to achieve that,” said Miles. Now is the time to take action on a global scale and eradicate preventable causes of infant deaths.
Dear Dr. Chan,
Every day, approximately 20,000 children around the world fall victim to deadly (yet preventable) diseases. Despite being an improvement from years passed, there is still much work that could lessen these numbers even more.
In a recent report submitted by Save the Children, the organization points out an unfortunate statistic that newborn babies are particularly lacking in proper health care. Out of the millions of children that die each and every year, an estimated 40% are newborn babies.
In order to best prepare for the safety and health of future generations, we must first learn to care for them in their first days and months. By providing better newborn and maternal health care, we can help reduce the mortality rate for newborns worldwide.
[Your Name Here]