News / Health

Tools Available to Raise Healthy Children, say Advocates

Irish musician Bono speaks during the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 28, 2011
Irish musician Bono speaks during the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 28, 2011
Lisa Schlein

Child health advocates attending the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland say more can and must be done to save the lives of millions of children in developing countries that die from preventable diseases each year.   The advocates participated in a special panel at the Forum on Raising Healthy Children.  

Children in developing countries are exposed to many health risks.  The World Food Program reports nearly 50 million children a year face malnutrition and hunger.  It says 200 million children are stunted, which robs them of the chance to lead a normal life.  

WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran says children under two who are deprived of adequate nutrition never recover from that loss.  She says without specific interventions, children lose a chance at a healthy life.  

"And this is not only an issue of compassion, but also one for finance ministers and presidents and prime ministers," said Sheeran. "The loss to GDP has been estimated by my program-but by others at 6 to 11 percent of GDP that a country loses if children are unhealthy and bring that into adulthood.  And, we know from one economy alone that equals over $20 billion a year.”  

Sheeran says countries now have to tackle the double problem of undernourishment and obesity, which can lead to early onset of diabetes in children.  But, she adds the news is not all grim.  Progress is being made and more can be made.

The Head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, agrees and is upbeat about the advances in child health.  She says under-five mortality has gone down to 8.1 million, the lowest in 60 years.

She says vaccines against preventable diseases, such as measles and polio are saving millions of lives.   And, she notes new vaccines are coming onto the market to protect children against diarrhea and pneumonia.

Dr. Chan says insecticide treated bed nets have cut child deaths from malaria by half in Africa.

Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, says one of the best ways of bringing down child deaths is by investing in women.

“We know that mothers make an incredible difference in the lives of their newborn babies and in their children," she said. "We know that woman, if you invest and gets an extra dollar or two in income, she plows it right back into her family in terms of health and nutrition and education.  So, the women are key in this.”  

Lead singer of U2 and Co-Founder of ONE Campaign and RED Campaign, Bono, says money can accomplish a lot, if used in the right way.  Since 2004, he says 6,000 children’s lives are being saved every day.  This is being done with the use of government aid and public participation.  

“I think you have to show the results to keep the public involved, but the public does have to keep the feet to the flames of their officials," said Bono.

The panel discussion ended with the surprise visit of Bill Gates and British Prime Minister, David Cameron.  Both men listed polio eradication as one of their top priorities.  

To show their seriousness, Gates said his foundation would contribute $100 million to the global polio eradication campaign.  The British prime minister said his government would double its commitment with a $60-million donation.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid