UK faces calls to take global leadership on ending preventable child deaths
UNICEF has published a new report calling on the UK government to take global leadership on ending preventable child deaths. The UK Secretary of State for International Development, Alok Sharma, is already on record saying that the UK will prioritize investments to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and children by 2030. To achieve this goal, UNICEF urges the UK to invest in building strong primary health care services.
The UNICEF report identifies five central challenges that must be addressed in order to end preventable deaths of children under the age of five:
- Limited access to quality primary health care, which causes 7,000 newborn deaths every day;
- Unequal access to vaccines, which results in the deaths of 1.5 million children under five every year;
- Pneumonia, which is the main infectious disease-causing death among children under five;
- Malnutrition, which leads to nearly half of deaths for children under five; and
- Diarrhea which is the fifth-leading cause of death among children under five.
While the world has made major progress toward reducing child mortality rates, 53 countries (predominately in sub-Saharan Africa) are still not set to meet their commitments for ending preventable deaths of newborns and children.