Among the 64 countries with high child mortality rates (defined as 40 or more deaths per 1,000 live births), only 9 are on track to meet the MDG target on child survival. The highest rates of child mortality continue to be found in sub- Saharan Africa.
Child mortality is at the core of what the 10 City Bridge Run seeks to influence through leveraging the awareness of others. The outcomes this would ideally achieve includes greater creativity, influencing decision making through petition of the G20 Summit leadership, and mobilising money towards addressing two of the most immediate causes of child mortality that are also readily mitigated.
The target the United Nations (UN) has set through the Millennium Development Goal 4 is reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.
A brief summary from the UN expresses concern, but also a window of opportunity:
- Child deaths are falling, but not quickly enough to reach the target
- Revitalizing efforts against pneumonia and diarrhoea, while bolstering nutrition, could save millions of children
- Recent success in controlling measles may be short-lived if funding gaps are not bridged
The good news is that there has been progress. The bad news is that this is not a time for back-slapping and reprieve. Not by a long shot. As my friend Suji would say: “Unacceptable!”
Quoting a UN report worth opening for the comparative graph showing improvements, targets and contrasting death rates by region- an all too stark reminder of how bad things are in sub-Saharan Africa:
Despite these achievements, and the fact that most child deaths are preventable or treatable, many countries still have unacceptably high levels of child mortality and have made little or no progress in recent years.
This comment from the UN confirms the need for investment of money into projects that address issues of water and sanitation, as well as malaria:
There is increasing evidence that MDG 4 can be achieved, but only if countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and Oceania target the biggest killers of children. In sub-Saharan Africa, diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia cause more than half of under-five deaths.
This is a tragedy played out daily.
The 10 City Bridge Run of itself won’t stop people dying. The awareness that it raises and the intervention it causes may well do though. Please sponsor this cause for $24.
I am working hard to make a difference. This is not something I can do alone. We need to act together. Please join me on this journey.