Reducing Child Mortality – United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4)

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Mother picking up an insecticide treated bed net. Lusaka Zambia

There is a current campaign going on which I would love to shed some light on. In the year 2000 the United Nations Secretary-General commissioned a project called The Millennium Project. You will also see it referenced as MDG. There are only 500 days left in this campaign to change the face of our world. Once those days are up, the work will not be done. More people need to be made aware of the goals of The Millennium Project in order for true change to occur. Mom Bloggers for Social Good are one group dedicated to spreading the word and raising awareness. This project currently has many goals, eight to be exact. One of which is to reduce child mortality, MDG4. More specifically, “Reduce by two-thirds, the under-five mortality rate”. When you hear that number, under-five, it sounds like a large span of time. However, when you find out that newborns account for 4 out of 5 of those deaths it takes on a whole new picture. These are children who have not had a chance in this world. They are completely helpless.

One way to greatly reduce this number is to help the mothers get the medical care they need during pregnancy. “Improving Maternal Health” is goal number 5 so I will not spend a lot of time on it BUT, one follows the other. Imagine being alone when you are giving birth, imagine not having skilled help, what a terrifying thought. That is reality to over 2 million women each year. If there is a problem, no one is there to whisk their babies off to a NICU, no one is even there to help. This is part of the high incidence of “under-five” infant mortality. These women do not know what to do if there is a problem.  I know most of us would not have a clue. So you see, they go hand in hand. Fairer distribution of essential health services, access to health care in general, could prevent these deaths. So many of them are completely preventable with the right help. We, as a world, need to come up with a plan. A plan that would not only get the proper medical care to those in need but would change the face of maternal and infant care in this world. This is not just a personal or local issue, this is a global issue. These are things which can so easily be prevented if we just try. A solid plan for better medical care could drop the “under-five” mortality rate dramatically.

Now, what about those kids who are older? What about those who make it to age 5 by the grace of God? It is strange, as I sit here in my home I sometimes forget how blessed I truly am. My daughter is healthy and happy. She has pretty much anything a little girl could need. A solid roof over her head, access to everything. Especially things that we take for granted, clean water, nutritious food and good health care. When I sit here and think about all of the children around the world who do not have the same benefits she does, it makes me want to cry.

Everyday 18,000 children die from totally preventable causes, things like disease and malnourishment. That is a staggering number to me! One day, 18,000 kids. I wonder about those children. Not just about why they may become part of this staggering statistic but also who they were, more importantly who may have turned out to be. We as parents understand that our children are our greatest gift, it is a given. But what about the children that are not ours, they are a gift too. They are the future, as cliche as that might sound. They will one day hold our world in their hands. They will be the decision makers and will ultimately decide how this world continues to revolve. It is so important we, as their parents, show them a proper way. Show them they are responsible for each individual on this planet, not simply the ones they come into contact with. We will need them to continue the work which we are so desperately trying to start and keep going.

With this thought fresh in our minds we need to acknowledge our duty as the previous generation to help them in any way possible. We need to find ways to get them not only the clean water and food they so desperately need, but to also not allow preventable diseases to take them from us. Everyday children die from diseases which are completely preventable. Diseases like malaria, pneumonia  or diarrhea. We need to step up and make sure this, not only stops happening, but also that we teach our children how to prevent these tragedies. Get them the health care they need to be healthy now and know how to take care of the generations which will come after them. The overall objective is about education and valuing our future. Preventative measures such as, vaccines, proper hygiene and access to good medical care are all it takes. So lets spread the word not only about fixing the now, but also fixing the future. Please help others around you stuck in the monotony of their everyday lives see how important future generations are and that there is always a way to help.

Yours,

The Perfectionist Mom

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Welcome to MOMentous Motherhood. My name is Kristin and we are a mommy blog like no other. We love to share our crazy stories about becoming moms and building a home and family. From the moment you find out you are pregnant to the time they head off on their own parenting is a group sport. It takes a village and we are here for you!

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