If you knew you could help save the lives of 38 million children under the age of 5 by the year 2030 you’d do it, right? Of course—we all would. This work is right in line with global goal #3, Good Health & Well-Being, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Here is the good news: we’re on our way.
A newly-released report from UNICEF called A Promise Renewed: 2015 Progress Report shows that since 2000, when world governments committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the lives of 48 million children under the age of 5 have been saved. As an example, the measles vaccine has helped prevent more than 15.6 million child deaths between 2001 and 2013. When the new global goals are implemented, this progress will continue.
Still, there is work to be done.
There are many factors that go into the likelihood a child will survive through their 5th birthday: being born in a low-income country, being from a rural area, having a mother who lacks education—these are all factors contributing to the numbers of children who don’t make it to age 5. Most of those deaths are preventable. Almost half are caused by infectious diseases and conditions such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, meningitis, tetanus, measles, sepsis, and AIDS, all of which can be prevented or treated with proven, cost-effective methods.
We’ve seen the progress that can be made in these areas, and know we can do better. The global goals set a strategy to focus our energy and attention on ensuring every woman and every child has the ability to survive and thrive.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt said, “Saving the lives of millions of children in urban and rural settings, in wealthy and poor countries, is one of the first great achievements of the new millennium – and one of the biggest challenges of the next 15 years is to further accelerate the progress. The data tells us that millions of children do not have to die – if we focus greater effort on reaching every child.”
Take Action Challenge
You can contribute to children’s lives being saved by supporting the work of our partners. Click through to learn more about the Every Woman Every Child initative, addressing major health challenges facing women and children. Support UNICEF in their efforts to ensure the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything they do. Let’s keep our promises to the world’s children.
Photos courtesy of UNICEF A Promise Renewed 2015 Progress Report