Children's Health: The Key to the Future
As human beings living together on the same planet, all countries have a global responsibility to be concerned with the health and safety of its inhabitants. Throughout history, many nations have faced domestic or international turmoil with economical and political crises that have led to poor health outcomes. Some developing regions of the world have faced greater disease process and higher mortality rates than economically more stable countries. In response to improving the overall health status of the world, the 191 United Nation members developed the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. The eight distinctive but interrelated goals can be accomplished to alleviate the world suffering such as poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, and environmental degradation (United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF], 2011). A country’s continuous endeavor to meet the Millennium Development Goal Four conveys the commitment to improve and modify its existing health care system and the health of its citizens.
The Millennium Development Goal Four has been established to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two thirds from the 1990 figure (UNICEF, 2011). This is significant because children represent the future and prospect for all nations on this earth. As an extension to the current generation, children have the fundamental right to live in hopes of continuing peoples’ achievements and advances on this earth. Although the under-five mortality rate has dropped thirty-five percent since 1990, more work is needed in its efforts to meet the MDG 4 goal by 2015 (UNICEF, 2011). Improving child mortality can signal the advancement of overall health, nutrition, and basic survival interventions of the globe. More specifically, high child mortality symbolizes each country’s weak and frail health care system and the ineffective efforts of the governments (United Nations Millennium Project, 2006).
According to the statistics, over seven million children under the age of five have died around the globe in 2010 (UNICEF, 2011). While nearly forty percent of these deaths occur before the age of one month, most of the children are afflicted with pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria or HIV/AIDS after the initial neonatal period of life (World Health Organization [WHO], 2011). Additionally, two thirds of the under-five mortality can be traced to treatable or avoidable health issues that can be remedied with proper basic health care (UNICEF, 2011). Due to the poor economical conditions and disease pandemics, the Sub-Saharan and Southern Asian regions have been sluggish in reaching their yearly goals that foreshadow their ultimate success for 2015. Much assistance is needed from international agencies to establish a reliable health care infrastructure and to coordinate resources to provide nutrition, basic health care and education to the women and children (United Nations Millennium Project, 2006).