Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Every year, more than 10 million children die before they reach the age of 5, most from preventable causes and almost all in poor countries. That is roughly half the number of children under age 5 living in the United States.
The greatest risk of death is in the first days and month of life, when 4 million babies die each year. Recent analysis has shown that nearly 3 million of these newborn deaths could be prevented annually by improving access to basic, cost-effective interventions that are not yet reaching those who need them most.
Members of Congress have stepped up and introduced the Global Child Survival Act. This legislation would recommit the United States to improving children's health by expanding funding for proven solutions such as:
- Skilled care during childbirth,
- Education to promote breastfeeding,
- Measles immunizations,
- Oral rehydration therapy (a formula of salts to prevent diarrhea that costs less than 50 cents per child),
- Pneumonia care, and
- Better mosquito nets.
A new study release by US charity, Save the Children, has tracked child mortality trends in 60 developing countries during a 15-year period.
Egypt made the most progress among developing countries in reducing deaths of children younger than 5 from 1990 to 2005, while Iraq deteriorated the most. 60 countries accounted for 94% of child deaths worldwide, the report says.
About 10.2 million children younger than 5 die annually around the world — 99% of them in developing nations amid poverty, disease and malnutrition, with 28,000 deaths a day. Nearly three-quarters of all such deaths were due to pneumonia, diarrhea and newborn disorders such as premature birth, birth asphyxia and birth defects, the report says.
Iraq, gripped by war since the US-led invasion in March 2003 and subjected to years of economic
sanctions before that, had a 150% increase in child mortality. "Even before the latest war, Iraqi mothers and children were facing a grave humanitarian crisis caused by years of repression,
conflict and external sanctions," the report says.
Reuters, Los Angeles Times
The United States helped reduce child mortality significantly from 1960 to 1990, but has let funding fall by 20 percent in the last 10 years.
We cannot let this trend continue, as 28,000 children die every day from a preventable or treatable disease>> http://go.care2.com/e/R9vx/i1Ce/U1cM
Our goal for this petition is 28,000 signatures, symbolic of this statistic. This equates to about ten million children under five each year. They're not dying from mysterious, incurable diseases, but from diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition and other causes that would be unthinkable in our own country.
Effective and affordable tools exist that could prevent the deaths of millions of children each year. Immunizations, antibiotics, clean drinking water and vitamin supplements are a few of the simple interventions that we know can save lives.
Members of Congress have stepped up and introduced the Global Child Survival Act. This legislation would recommit the United States to improving children's health by expanding funding for proven solutions like immunizations and antibiotics.
Ten million children under five die from preventable and treatable diseases each year.
Tell your representatives to support the Global Child Survival Act
to stop these unnecessary deaths.