Save the Children

2395 words 10 pages
Position Paper on Child Survival

1. INTRODUCTION

Save the Children is a child focused organisation that delivers immediate and lasting improvements in children's lives. The organisation is committed to improve the health status of children in India and protect them from exploitation, abuse and ill health. In the current context, Save the Children’s primary focus is on supporting the system in accelerating the progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4 aimed at one-third reduction in child mortality rates from 1990 level, by 2015.

Child Survival Situation in India

India is faced with an unparalleled child survival and health challenge. The country contributes 1.95 million of the global burden of 9.2 million under-five child deaths,
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The issue of underweight children is particularly serious in rural areas and among the poorest families, ethnic minorities and lower castes.

2. KEY ISSUES

With one child dying every three seconds, India registers the highest number of child deaths across the globe[11]. The major killers of children are – acute respiratory infections, dehydration due to diarrhoea, measles and neonatal tetanus and in some areas malaria. The high prevalence of malnutrition contributes to over 50% of child deaths. In India, a significant proportion of child deaths (over 40% of under-five Mortality and 64% of infant mortality) take place in the neonatal period. Apart from infections, other causes like asphyxia, hypothermia and pre-maturity are responsible for neonatal mortality. About one-third of the newborns have a birth weight less than 2500 gram (low-birth weight). A significant proportion of mortality occurs in low-birth weight babies. It has been recognised that further reduction of IMR will require focused attention on Neonatal mortality[12].

The most challenging part of infant mortality, we all know, is the large proportion of newborn deaths, contributing to around 70% of all infant deaths, that too mostly taking place in the first week of life. Mortality rate in the second month of life is also higher than at later ages. In short, to achieve this goal, India needs extra emphasis to save newborns.

Over 50% of the child deaths are

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