As stated by Mahatma Gandhi ‘It is the health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver’. So, it becomes the responsibility of parents and the society to ensure good health to the future generation of the society. The unfortunate thing is that according to a report submitted by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 6.9 million kids passed away within the age of 5 years in the year 2011 at the rate of nearly 800 kids each hour. Health care providers are of the opinion that the risk of death is highest in the first month of the life.
Life risk of newborn: Generally, most of the new born die because of the following three reasons:
• Birth asphyxia
• Pre-term birth
How can these deaths be avoided?
These deaths can be avoided or minimized with the help of the following measures:
• Appropriate care during pregnancy
• Safe childbirth with the help of skilled birth attendants
• The best neonatal care, wherein immediate attention to be given to early commencement of breastfeeding alone, safe removal of cord and skin care, breathing and warmth.
Causes of deaths from one month to five years:
During this period, children die because of the following common causes:
Here are some details in this regard:
Pneumonia: World Health Organization has stated that pneumonia is the prime cause of death among kids and this condition is created by different factors like indoor air pollution and malnutrition. To prevent this, the following measures should be taken:
• Breastfeeding until 2 years minimum
This causes sickness and death among children mainly in developing countries. It is stated that breastfeeding can help in preventing diarrheal diseases and when it comes to treating children zinc supplements combined with Oral Rehydration Salts can be the ideal treatment and it is cost effective as well.
A report states that one child dies each minute out of malaria. To increase the chances of survival and to prevent transmission, it is recommended that insecticide-treated nets should be used.
Nearly 90% of kids with HIV are infected by getting infected from the mother. This can be prevented with the help of safe feeding practices, delivery and antiretrovirals.
Recommendation from WHO:
The World Health Organization recommends that nearly 20% of deaths among children can be avoided by following the feeding guidelines in the right manner.
• Feeding infants only with breast milk for the first six months
• Initiating balancing foods as per the advice of the health care provider after six months.
• Continuing breast feeding for 2 years or even beyond 2 years.
WHO is taking steps to improve child health by guiding countries to provide effective care to carrying moms and to follow safe delivery practices. Also, it is recommended that the right kind of care should be given to children until 5 years and investing in strong health system is stated as the key towards achieving these goals.