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Faqeer Ahmad, 7, sick with fever, lies on a street with her sister begging in Kabul (AP).

Millions of Child Deaths Are Preventable

May 07, 2008 01:58 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Cara McDonough
A new report says 10 million children, mostly in developing nations, die each year from treatable ailments because they lack basic health care.

30-Second Summary

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Charity group Save the Children says that more than 200,000 children five years old and younger do not get basic health care, leading to millions of deaths a year from treatable conditions like pneumonia and diarrhea.

Low-cost tools and preventative measures could save up to 6 million of these children, but they are not available in many areas.

Eight of the 10 bottom-ranked countries in terms of health care for mothers and children are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report, where four of every five mothers are likely to lose a child in their lifetime.

Sweden, Norway and Iceland ranked highest in the survey.

The study marks another striking connection between poverty and lack of healthcare—a problem in the United States as well, although not on such staggering levels.

A recent U.S. study showed that those living in poor regions of the country, including Appalachia, the Mississippi River states and parts of Texas, have a lower life expectancy than others in the country. Women are especially affected.

The Save the Children report includes recommendations for countries where children are most affected, including investing in community health care workers to reach “the poorest of the poor,” with basic, life-saving care.

“A child’s chance of celebrating a fifth birthday should not largely depend on the country or community where he or she is born,” said the group’s president and CEO Charles MacCormack.

Headline Links: Simple, inexpensive remedies could save millions

Background: Food crisis could worsen nutrition problem in Africa

Related Topic: Poverty and healthcare in the United States

Reference: Children’s healthcare and worldwide health

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