Photo courtesy of zimbabwesituation.com
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is launching a major global campaign on child survival - “Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed", aimed at recommitting to helping prevent the top two causes of death in children world-wide-- pneumonia and diarrhoea.
According to UNICEF, two million children die every year because of these two scourges, and the UN agency underscores that both are highly preventable.
Moreover, UNICEF's Executive Director, Anthony Lake underlined that a stunted child is up to five times more likely to die from diarrhoea – a condition which kills more than 3,000 children under the age of five every day around the world in a statement given at the 38th G8 Summit on Saturday, May 19.
"Stunting is the irreversible outcome of chronic nutritional deficiency during the first thousand days of a child’s life, from conception through pregnancy to the age of two. The damage it causes to a child’s development is permanent – and the cumulative effect it can have on a country’s development is considerable. Stunted children are inches shorter than they could have been with proper nutrition. Their immune systems are weaker, leaving them more vulnerable to disease. A stunted child is up to five times more likely to die from diarrhoea – a condition which kills more than 3,000 children under five every day around the world", added Mr. Lake.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that every year there are about two billion cases of diarrhoeal disease worldwide. The lack of clean drinking water and proper sanitation are key factors contributing to diarrhoea and dehydration is a major threat.
They warn that diarrhoeal disease, "Is a leading cause of child mortality and morbidity in the world, and mostly results from contaminated food and water sources. Worldwide, around 1 billion people lack access to improved water and 2.5 billion have no access to basic sanitation. Diarrhoea due to infection is widespread throughout developing countries."
Worse yet, pneumoniais the single largest cause of death in childrenworldwide. Every year, it kills an estimated 1.4 million childrenunder the age of five years, warns the WHO.
UNICEF's campaign will start in Washington, DC and run from June 14 thru 15 and is being convened by the Governments of the Ethiopia, India and the United States with more than 700 prominent leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society are expected to attend says UNICEF.
As part of the campaign UNICEF will release a report containing new analysis that shows how millions more lives could be saved.The report will be issued shortly before the launch of a major global campaign on child survival.
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories helping not only to advance the rights of children, but also the health and well-being of children where needed.