The rate of death among children worldwide is a global issue of concern. Children die from various causes. These causes include Malaria, Malnutrition, Pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, and measles (Wolter, 2007). Other potential but rare causes include psychological trauma, terrorism, earthquakes, civil wars, religious ideologies and food poisoning. In Africa and other poverty-prone regions, the majority of children do not receive proper medical treatment and sufficient nutrition. There has been a global campaign for breastfeeding to mitigate the trouble of malnutrition.
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Child death pattern differs from one area to another because of the economic endowment of the region and the prevalence of a certain disease. For example, in regions prone to Malaria, deaths are higher than in the less prone areas. The death pattern in famine-stricken areas differs from the well-fed regions. In certain low-income communities, lack of education has led to the death of as opposed to areas with high literacy (Ellen, 2000). There are communities whose religions prohibit medical treatment. There have been cases of children dying after their parents refused to seek medical attention.
The most affordable mitigation against the death of newborns is proper nutrition for the mothers, proper post-natal examination, and adequate breastfeeding (Bassani et al, 2010). Many parents have not yet realized the importance of breastfeeding even after serious campaigns promoting it. Humanitarian organizations can intervene in cases involving poverty and cases where natural disasters cause infant mortality. Another way to mitigate infant mortality is by sensitizing the public about family planning to minimize the effect of poverty on children’s deaths. It is important to note that at this stage, children easily succumb to Malaria and Pneumonia. There should be more efforts to control Malaria cases by providing Mosquito nets and by educating people about pneumonia. Parents ought to visit VCT centers to know whether they are HIV positive or negative because, before birth, it is possible to prevent mother-to-child infection, thus, saving the lives of children. Parents can contribute to the fight against child mortality by focusing on preventive measures. The prevention method is more cost-effective than the attempts to administer treatments to illnesses.
For children below the age of five, the most affordable way to mitigate their deaths is to ensure that they receive proper medical attention and immunization. They should also be well fed and protected from mosquitoes to minimize chances of Malaria. At this stage still, children die from Pneumonia-related cases. Parents require education concerning Pneumonia prevention. Concerning income, communities require economic empowerment programs to boost their earnings and enable them to access necessary resources including food (Fleiss, 1981). This can be in the area of crop farming, fishing, dairy and poultry farming. This means families will acquire food without necessarily having to spend money. Preventive measures are more cost-effective than treatment of diseases (Lopez et al, 2006).
To prevent child mortality without necessarily increasing incomes, parents need to commit themselves to adequate family planning and proper feeding. They need to invent community-based empowerment projects so that they can access food locally and naturally. They can also participate actively in the fight against Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Measles and Pneumonia by implementing simple instructions such as using warm clothes to avoid cold and using mosquito nets. Parents can minimize child mortality even when they have low incomes.
Bassani, D. G., Jha, P., Dhingra, N., Kumar, R. (2010). Child mortality from solid-fuel use in India: a nationally-representative case-control study. New Delhi: BMC Public Health.
Ellen, I. (2000). Is segregation bad for your health? The case of low birth weight. In: Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
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Fleiss, J. L. (1981). Statistical methods for rates and proportions. (2nd ed). New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Lopez, A. D., Mather’s, C.D., Estate, M. Jamison, D.T., Murray, C. (2006). Global burden of disease and risk factors. New York: Oxford University Press.
Wolter, K. M. (2007). Introduction to variance estimation, (2nd edn). New York: Springer.