The world is home to 2.2 billion children.
Children in developing countries often face deadly complications in their early years as a result of poor healthcare.
Child Mortality is the number of children who die by the age of five out of every thousand live births. Malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia are some of the major causes of death and everyday struggles children face in the developing world. The UN stated in 2007 that children in developing countries are thirteen times more likely to die in the first five years of life than those in developed countries. About 21,000 young children die every day, mainly from preventable causes. There is good news however - In 2010, this figure fell 6% from 2009.
What can we do in 2013?
Child mortality is closely linked to poverty. Advances in infant and child survival have come more slowly in poor countries and also to the poorest people in wealthier countries. Improvements in public health services are essential, including safe water and better sanitation. Education, especially for girls and mothers, will also save children's lives. Improvements in income help, but little will be achieved unless a greater effort is made to ensure that services to improve child health reach those who need them most.
Millions of children, particularly in Africa and Asia, lack access to proper nutrition, health-care services, education, clean water, sanitation and adequate shelter. They are also vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, trafficking, armed conflict, slavery and sexual exploitation. Because poverty tends to be intergenerational, focusing on children’s rights and reducing child poverty is important in breaking the cycle of poverty for future generations.
Malnutrition contributes to over a third of these deaths and is also responsible for impaired intellectual development, hindering children’s prospects for the future. Nutrient supplements and encouraging breastfeeding in women strengthens children and is also one of the most effective ways of reducing their vulnerability to disease. Expanding educational opportunities to mothers is also essential for improving children’s survival and development. Educated women are less likely to die in childbirth and more likely to provide adequate nutrition and sanitation to their children and send them to school.
Substantial progress has been made towards reducing child mortality. In 2009 the number of children dying everyday was cut by 12,000 compared to 1990. Through community outreach, training and monitoring, large-scale immunisation campaigns have reached vast numbers of children and combated several major childhood diseases. Polio is close to eradication and child deaths from measles declined by 74 per cent globally between 2000 and 2007.
CREDITS DIRECTED BYJonathan Olinger, Michael Trainer SERIES CREATIVE DIRECTOR Michael Trainer WRITERS Lindsay Branham NARRATED BY Rachel Brosnahan PRODUCED BY DTJ (www.dtj.org) PRODUCER Lindsay Branham EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Michael Trainer CINEMATOGRAPHY Jonathan Olinger, Ricky Norris ORIGINAL SCORE Ryan O'Neal ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Adam Butterfield LEAD EDITOR Jonathan Olinger EDITOR Austin Peck VISUAL EFFECTS Dan DiFelice MOTION GRAPHICS Dan Johnson COLOR Matt Fezz SOUND DESIGN Ben Lukas Boysen SOUND MIX Charles de Montebello, CDM Studios, NYC ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE BY UNICEF, DTJ, We Rise VOICE OVER RECORDING CDM Studios, NYC VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO: Jane Rosenthal, Nancy Lefkowitz