India misses the most important target
According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2016, around 1.2 million children could have been saved in 2015 if basic minimum sanitation and health care facilities were provided to them.
The report published today dispelled the notion that a better economy does not ensure better conditions for children, showing examples of Nigeria and India, where child mortality rates are higher. Over 59 lakh children have died last year in India, Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria before they could attain the age of five years.
Children whom we could have saved
39% of the babies have died due to complications during birth. But many of them have died because of lack of proper sanitation and access to healthcare leading to diseases like malaria and diarrhoea. UNICEF also believes that child marriages and early pregnancies are some key reasons for deaths of newborns. The problem of child mortality can be solved if even low-cost interventions can be made upon sanitation, holistic nutrition and women’s reproductive health management.
Some of the statistics include:
- India has the highest number of child deaths in the world, with an estimated 12 lakh deaths in 2015 — 20 per cent of the 59 lakh global deaths.
- India fell short of the under-five child mortality rate target of 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015
- India does not figure in the list of 62 countries — which includes Bangladesh and Nepal — that have achieved the Millennium Development Goal to reduce the under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 (25 years)
- In 2008, 5.3 lakh children under five died in the lowest income quintile in comparison to 1.78 lakh among the highest wealth quintile. (savethechildren)
- The rate of decline between 2005-06 and 1997-98 among the lowest income quintile is 22.69 per cent compared to 34.37 per cent among the high-income quintile for the same period. (savethechildren)
- Of the 2.6 crore children born in India every year, approximately 18.3 lakh children die before their fifth birthday in India.
- The under-five mortality rate in Kerala is 14 deaths per 1,000 live births. This stands in a sharp contrast to Madhya Pradesh at 92 per 1,000 or 91 per 1,000 for Uttar Pradesh.
UNICEF has strictly warned that 69 million children under the age of five will die from preventable causes between now and 2030 if all countries don’t accelerate action to improve health and education for the most disadvantaged.
The Logical Indian urges the state as well Central Governments to give the highest priority to ensure quality health care reaches the last citizen. If we were to make the best of our demographic dividend, quality health care and reducing child mortality is a must.