Amid the hi-fi glamour of ongoing IPL clashes,I came to read a news item that talked about child deaths in our country.According to survey conducted by the NGO World Vision ,India has turned into child death Capital.On the one hand we have MNCs spending billions on organizing such mega events like IPL in which show of money is at its best while ,on the other hand,we have children dying because of lack of basic facilities like oral rehydration solutions and basic vaccinations.It’s believed that more than one million child lives could easily be saved via “good care, nutrition, and medical treatment”.
“It is believed that other easy measures could prevent 90% of diarrhea deaths, 62% of pneumonia deaths, 100% measles deaths 92% malaria deaths, 44% HIV/AIDS deaths and 52% neonatal fatalities. Proven strategies and interventions such as keeping the newborn baby sufficiently warm, neonatal resuscitation, micronutrient supplements such as vitamin A and zinc and antibiotics for sepsis, pneumonia and dysentery are expected to be discussed. Various impediments that still pose a challenge to such simple interventions will be identified and solutions explored.”
A report says that India is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s child deaths.India along with Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo cause 40 per cent of the total child deaths in the world.
As per Reni Jacob, the advocacy director for World Vision India ”
When hundreds die in a disaster, it is considered an emergency. But when 5,000 children die every day, it is not considered one. This is the biggest human rights and child rights violation of all times.” The fact that simple interventions can go a long way in preventing child deaths is evident from the disparities that exist within India itself. While states like Orissa have a high infant mortality rate of 10 per cent, in others like Kerala, the rate is just a little over 1 per cent. And that is primarily because of initiatives in child care and maternal health services.
The sad reality is that the total health budget remains as low as 2.3 per cent of the Union Budget even as about 5,000 children die in India and every 20 seconds, the country loses one child under five years of age.”I dare say up to 90 per cent deaths are preventable, with known preventions. These can be prevented by having adequate care at the right moment, for the mother during delivery and for the newborn in the first weeks of life,” says Dr H Hombergh of the UNICEF.The biggest culprit for child death is neo natal mortality followed by Acute respiratory infections that cause 45 percent and 19 percent deaths respectively.
The efforts of NGOs like Word Vision needs to be appreciated that are determined to lessen the child deaths.These NGOs have asked the government to reshape the National Rural Health Mission and making Integrated Child Development Scheme get focused on children below three- year- old as well. Lets hope the initiatives like Navjaat Shishu Programme prevent the untimely death of small kids.