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Infant Mortality and the Financial Crisis

Saadia Iqbal's picture

Woman with babyWe’ve been hearing a lot of bleak news regarding the global economic crisis. Perhaps this recent update from the World Bank is the bleakest yet. According to the report, the crisis will cause child mortality rates to soar in developing countries; in fact, it predicts that between 2009 to 2015, an average 200,000 to 400,000 more babies may die per year—a total of 1.4 to 2.8 million—if the crisis persists.

It’s hard to find anything optimistic to say; one can only hope that developed countries will respond and contribute to the Vulnerability Fund that World Bank President Zoellick is calling for, and help prevent the financial crisis from becoming a human one.

Both infant and maternal mortality are largely preventable, if the right measures are in place. UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report focuses on maternal and newborn health this year, and states that good reproductive health services, skilled health workers assisting at birth, adequate nutrition, and educating mothers about healthy practices can all make a huge difference.

According to the report, “around 80% of maternal deaths could be prevented if women had access to essential maternity and basic health-care services.” And infections, which cause 36% of newborn deaths, could be reduced with better screening and immunization, and hygienic delivery practices.

Empowering girls and women can have a huge impact too. Educated adolescents are more likely to wait until after their teens to start families, and this delay is often critical: complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a major cause of mortality for girls aged 15-19 worldwide, accounting for 70,000 deaths annually.

This video from UNICEF portrays the report’s main findings regarding maternal and newborn health.

Comments

Submitted by Soneye Olurotimi on
So far, the millions, billions of dollars being allocated into the developed countries have not in anyway changed the lifestyle of the people. all the people have been hearing are big english which cannot mitigate against the health, malnutrition, high mortality rate they are facing. What Mr Zoellick and the developed countries should do is to ensure that a penny of the funds will not be handed over to the countries but they must see to it that they, the international community take over, execute a all the development and supervise all developments in the poor countries. Thank you.

Submitted by Anthropologist Hameedullah on
Vvulnarability is result of hegemonic role of capitalist rich country and gigt of unequality between rich and poor

Submitted by Fei An on
Agreed, it would be beneficial to have the international community keep a close watch. It would be even better though if they actually educate the community so they won't be needing the help in the long term. More ideas @: http://www.uvolunteer.org/volunteer-life

Submitted by Bhavdeep on
Infant Mortality and the Financial Crisis It is a very important issue and it need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. We have a problem that is the lock is this case; we only need to find out the right key to this out of all the alternatives. In my view, the whole world should come together and help out the countries that are in need at the moment. 80% of the maternal deaths are due to the lack of access to essential maternity and basic health-care services. If these basic amenities are provided to them, then almost half of the problems would be solved automatically. Moreover, the UN or the World Bank should urge the developed countries to come forward and take up the initiative to put in their efforts in order to solve this problem as its not only one or two countries

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