The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. It's comprised of eight international goals that were agreed to by 193 countries aiming to meet the needs of the global poor by 2015. We are almost halfway through, today looking at Goal #4
4. Reduce Child Mortality
One single target has been set to reach this goal: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
With the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa, all regions reduced their under-five child mortality rate by more than half. Six million fewer children died in 2012 compared to 1990. Measles immunization helped prevent nearly 14 million deaths between 2000-2012.
What's Still to Be Done
The main cause of under-five deaths is preventable diseases. PREVENTABLE. Diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria are the main infectious diseases causing child mortality. Almost 50% of child deaths occurred with in the first 28 days of a child's life, many due to lack of access to quality maternal care.
Examples and Stories of Progress
In Bangladesh, UNICEF is supporting local-level efforts to increase quality maternal care and training community healthcare workers in order to offer better access for prenatal and postnatal care. Saving One Million Lives has partnered with the Nigerian government to expand access to essential health services specifically for women and children that includes mosquito nets, equipment to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and a telephone line for health workers.
2015 and beyond
Every Women Every Child is a global movement working to save 16 millions lives of the women and children that are at risk every year. The New UN Sustainable Development Goals has two goals relating the child mortality – to ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all ages and to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Investments are being made in training local citizens in poor countries in health care and maternal care to ensure women are assisted during childbirth by someone trained in best practices in order to prevent many of the diseases the contribute to child mortality.
The official website for the MDG's contains plenty of information and encouraging stories: LINK
Sarah lives in Northern Ontario with her family. Sarah and her husband have four children, and one grandson. She is an avid reader and learner. In 2012, Sarah launched JustOne with Krista and travelled to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa together. Sarah has a blog we love to read called "Recipe for Messiness" that is about finding beauty amidst our messy lives.