News / Health

New UN Strategy Could Save Two Million Children A Year

Filipino mothers carry their babies outside a health center in Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines.
Filipino mothers carry their babies outside a health center in Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines.
Lisa Schlein
— The World Health Organization and U.N. Children's Fund are unveiling a new strategy to end preventable child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea by 2025.  The agencies say this new plan of action potentially could save the lives of up to two million young children each year.

Pneumonia and diarrhea are two leading killers of young children.  Together, they account for nearly one-third of all the deaths of children under five years old in developing countries.  Nearly 90 percent of the two million annual child deaths from these two diseases occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
 
Health agencies say children are dying from these preventable diseases because effective interventions are not reaching them or are not being provided equitably across all communities.  
 
Elizabeth Mason, director of the World Health Organization's Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, says pneumonia and diarrhea are currently treated separately.  She says evidence from countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Tanzania show it makes good health and economic sense to tackle these diseases together.
 
She says many factors contribute to pneumonia or diarrhea, so no single intervention can effectively prevent, treat or control these two conditions.  She says the new approach involves putting the known interventions into one comprehensive, integrated package.
 
“Current interventions, such as exclusive breast-feeding, good under-five good nutrition for children, hand washing, safe drinking water, improved cook stoves, environmental pollution, zinc, oral rehydration solution, antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, vitamin A, and vaccination need correct and consistent and sustained use,” said Mason. 
 
Vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhea are not affordable in many developing countries.  The GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership, provides funding that increases access to immunization in developing countries.
 
To date, GAVI has helped 24 poor countries immunize 13 million children with pneumococcal vaccines to prevent pneumonia and 13 countries with rotavirus vaccines to immunize five million children against diarrhea.  
 
GAVI welcomes the WHO/UNICEF integrated global action plan and says it hopes to accelerate affordable access to these life-saving vaccines by developing countries.
 
WHO’s Mason believes the targets set by the new integrated approach for ending preventable child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea by 2025 are achievable.
 
“In this respect, we are saying that pneumonia in children under five, there should be no fewer than three per thousand deaths and for diarrhea fewer than one per thousand deaths, which is totally less than four per thousand deaths from these two diseases," explained Mason. "And, we believe that in a further 10 years, we should be able to have no deaths from diarrhea and pneumonia.”  
 
Dr. Mason says it will cost just over $6 billion to implement the strategy over a 10-year period.  She says that comes to just about $600 million a year.  She notes the return from this relatively small amount of money is huge in terms of millions of children’s lives saved.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid