Young Child Survival and Development

 

Young Child Survival and Development

Issues 11:28
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Latest progress:

In 2012:
  1. Nutrition: UNICEF supports the community-based management of acute malnutrition in over 65 countries, reaching 2.6 million children aged 6 to 59 months with critical treatment. With UNICEF’s support, at least 76 per cent of households in 69 countries used iodized salt. UNICEF supplied over 500 million vitamin A capsules, reaching some 75 per cent of all children aged 6 to 59 months in developing countries with two doses of this essential supplement.
  2. Preventable Diseases: UNICEF provided 2.13 million families, each with two insecticide treated nets to prevent malaria.
  3. Immuisation: UNICEF and its partners supported immunisation programmes in over 100 countries, and contributed to reaching more than 80 per cent of all children worldwide with lifesaving vaccines. As the world’s largest purchaser of vaccines, UNICEF procured almost 1.9 billion doses of vaccine and over 500 million syringes. UNICEF vaccinated 43.8 million children aged 6 months to 15 years for measles.
  4. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF provided 18.8 millon people with access to safe water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. UNICEF helped an estimated 10.6 million people gain access to improved sanitation through community approach total sanitation programmes in 54 countries. More than 24 million people are living in communities where open defecation is no longer a health hazard.
  5. Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed: UNICEF and the Governments of Ethiopia, India, and the United States convened the ‘Child Survival Call to Action’ in June 2012. 168 governments and more than 400 representatives from civil society and faith-based organisation joined and pledged to redouble efforts to eliminate all preventable child mortality in two decades.
  6. Assistance Expenditure: In keeping with UNICEF’s commitment to help children survive, more than half of programme outlay in 2012– HK$12.2 billion (US$1,566 million) – was devoted to young child survival and development.
Nearly 18,000 children under the age of five died every day from preventable causes in 2012. Globally, the five major killers of children under 5 are pneumonia (17 per cent), pre-term birth complications (15 per cent), diarrhoea (9 per cent), intrapartum-related complications (10 per cent) and malaria (7 per cent).  Moreover, nearly half of under-five child deaths— or approximately 3 million deaths a year —are attributable to undernutrition.

 

By packaging services and implementing at scale, high impact and evidence-based maternal, newborn and child survival interventions, such as vaccines, antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets, improved breastfeeding practices and adoption of safe hygiene practices can prevent unnecessary maternal and child deaths. By ensuring that all children have access to basic education and by focusing on children marginalised by poverty, HIV/AIDS, conflict and discrimination, we can break the cycle of poverty that keeps children on the brink of survival.