Thursday, September 13, 2007

Staying alive

I don’t usually put images on my blog. But this one’s just great:

(From the BBC.)

What it means is that over 3 million more children get to see their fifth birthday each year.

Child mortality in developing countries is still tragically, needlessly high, but where there are resources and political will, the way to save large numbers of young lives is no mystery. So says Unicef, which compiled the figures:

Much of the progress is the result of the widespread adoption of basic health interventions, such as early and exclusive breast feeding, measles immunisation, Vitamin A supplementation and the use of insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria.

I dimly remember being five; I couldn’t have conceived of dying.

This is really good progress, but a lot more is needed. And it might help to spur the politicians on if we devoted as much concern to the millions of under-fives still dying each year as we do to the fate of one particular four-year-old.

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