Help babies live past their fifth birthday
Does the idea of joining the global community to help more babies live past their fifth birthday sound interesting?
Explore this goal more here …
[bgsection pex_attr_title=”What's the problem?” pex_attr_subtitle=”” pex_attr_undefined=”undefined” pex_attr_style=”section-light-bg” pex_attr_bgcolor=”f7f7f7″ pex_attr_image=”” pex_attr_imageopacity=”0.5″ pex_attr_bgimagestyle=”static” pex_attr_titlecolor=”252525″ pex_attr_textcolor=”373737″ pex_attr_height=””]What is Infant and Child Mortality?
If a baby dies before they reach 1 month old this is called ‘Infant Mortality’. If a child survives past 1 month but dies before its 5th birthday, this is called ‘child mortality’. It is measured by the number of babies or children who die for every 1000 babies who survive. Each death has a devastating effect on the child’s parents, family and friends and like maternal death, it can often be avoided.
At the moment about 19 infants die for every 1000 babies who are born and 43 children under 5 for children die for every 1000 who reach their 5th birthday. About 2 million babies born each year won’t survive their first day of life and another 1 million won’t live beyond a week. Just about all (99%) of these deaths will occur in places like Africa and South Asian.
Just over 8 million children will still die before their 5th birthday. That’s over 23 000 per day! By the time you will have finished reading this section approximately 30 children will have died.
There will also be about 3 million babies die just before they are born – these are called ‘still births’ and they have an equally devastating impact on the new mother.
How is this allowed to happen? The sad fact is that basic health support is not available to half of all mothers and babies in low and middle income countries. A large number of babies who die each year could be saved with low-tech, low-cost health care.
What causes infant and child deaths?
Almost all (99%) of these deaths occur in poor countries, mainly in Africa and South Asia where mothers don’t have access to good medical care during pregnancy and after giving birth. Many mothers can’t afford to buy the right food for themselves and their babies. Mothers who are infected with HIV can pass this onto their babies when they are born which makes it more difficult to fight off infections.
A baby can be severely injured during childbirth and can become brain damaged or can die soon after as a result. Some babies develop problems with some of their organs such as their heart or lungs that doesn’t allow them to survive outside of their mother. Other babies won’t grow as well as they should inside their mother and are born before they should (we call these premature babies) or are born very small. These babies need special care and support in order to survive which isn’t always available.
Once a baby is born they are exposed to lots of bugs that can lead to serious diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea which can kill them but which can be treated with some basic and simple treatments.
Mothers don’t always know how to take care of her baby before and after they are born. Simple things can make a big difference – making sure people wash their hands regularly can prevent babies being infected with some diseases; having mosquito nets can stop babies and children from getting malaria; knowing that feeding the baby breast milk can make sure they have the right amount of food and drink and can help the baby fight diseases; and making sure basic health care is available for mothers can make sure babies and mothers are given the right care when things do start to go wrong.
[bgsection pex_attr_title=”What’s being done about it?” pex_attr_subtitle=”” pex_attr_undefined=”undefined” pex_attr_style=”section-light2″ pex_attr_bgcolor=”EDF5F7″ pex_attr_image=”” pex_attr_imageopacity=”0.5″ pex_attr_bgimagestyle=”static” pex_attr_titlecolor=”252525″ pex_attr_textcolor=”777777″ pex_attr_height=””]Reducing infant and child mortality is a high priority for many countries and there has been some remarkable improvements. The total number of deaths per year has almost halved in the past 5 years,
There has been a lot of work all around the world to reduce the number of infant and child deaths. In the past 6 years the number of children dying before their 5th birthday almost halved.
Many governments and support organisations such as UNICEF have focused on three areas to reduce child mortality rates. These include making sure mothers in poorer countries have access to:
- Good quality education on how to take care of themselves and their babies
- The right food for themselves and baby
- Access to access to doctors and nurses who can give them and their child the care they need.
There has also been a lot of work to make sure mothers and children have the right access to treatments for HIV and the information on how to plan for having a family. Many organisations are working hard to reduce the number of people getting malaria – check out some of these links Bill Gates, Africa Fighting Malaria.
Here are some organisations and people who are currently working on this issue
[bgsection pex_attr_title=”Discover and explore more” pex_attr_subtitle=”” pex_attr_undefined=”undefined” pex_attr_style=”section-dark-bg” pex_attr_bgcolor=”3ca4cf” pex_attr_image=”” pex_attr_imageopacity=”0.5″ pex_attr_bgimagestyle=”static” pex_attr_titlecolor=”ffffff” pex_attr_textcolor=”ffffff” pex_attr_height=””]The team at This Better Work can help you figure out if this might be something you want to get involved with – now and in the future.
- More about the health community and some of the global health causes worth getting involved with
- More about how you may find working in this area meaningful and rewarding
- More information about this global challenge and what’s being done about it
- The kinds of further training and study you may need to work in this area
- With people and organisations that are working in this area
- Our field champion who can show you more …
- We can help you find ways to see if this is really something you’d like to get into – through community service projects, volunteer opportunities, job shadow placements, science expo projects, even a gap-year placement
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