Among the many fights against poverty, improving children’s’ health is one of the major responsibilities. A healthy child becomes a healthy adult, a person who has the ability to create a better life for them, the people around them, their community, and their countries. One of the core UNICEF objectives is to improve the health of the children of the world.
Most of the children deaths occur due to pneumonia, preterm birth complications, intra-partum related complications, diarrhea and malaria. The issues that prevails, is the fact that universal access to basic social services is not available, and poverty.
UNICEF is addressing these threats as it works with the governments, humanitarian agencies, civil and community leaders, families and children themselves. Throughout the world UNICEF has joined hands with governments and non-governmental organizations at national and community levels maintaining its extensive global presence.
Though there has been significant progress, there lie many obstacles that are slowly being hurdled over and removed by UNICEF, and is bringing the world on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target of two-thirds reduction in the rate of child mortality by 2015.
HIV and AIDS
“An estimated 34.0 million [31.4 million–35.9 million] people were living with HIV as of 2011; 3.3 million [3.1 million–3.8 million] of them were children under 15 years, and about 16.7 million [15.4 million–17.6 million] were women (see Global Summary table, below). Every day, nearly 7,000 persons became infected with HIV and nearly 5,000 persons died from AIDS, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention care and treatment services.
As of 2011, roughly 17.3 million children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and millions more have been affected, with a vastly increased risk of poverty, homelessness, school dropout, discrimination and loss of life opportunities. These hardships include illness and death. Of the estimated 1.7 million [1.5 million–1.9 million] people who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2011, 230,000 [200,000–270,000] of them were children under 15 years of age.”
In over 190 countries, UNICEF specializes in HIV prevention, protection, care and support for babies, children, young people and mothers affected by the virus. The “Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS Campaign” is dedicated to reversing the HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2015. Its work is complimentary to the Millennium Development Goal 6, which is ending HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
One of the most cost-effective, and successful public health interventions is immunization. The latest data states that in 2012, 111 million children received immunization with vaccines against life-threatening diseases, which further averted approximately 2-3 deaths per year and a number of episodes of illness and disability.
Despite the significant gains, there are yet nearly 22.6 million children under the...