5th Birthday Campaign: How We Can End Preventable Child Deaths


Uploaded by 5thBirthday on 14.06.2012

Transcript:
Happy Birthday! Hundreds of thousands of kids will celebrate their fifth birthday today,
with proud family looking on.
But lots of parents don't have this luxury.
The greatest fear of many parents is that their son or daughter won't even reach age
five -- an important milestone for survival.
By age five, most children can overcome health challenges – such as early childhood diseases
and malnutrition -- and are growing into a productive teen and adult.
Chances are, if you are watching this you are older than five.
I am sure you agree that every child should have the same opportunity to survive and grow.
But 21,000 kids under five will die today of largely preventable causes.
Twenty years ago, every fifth child died by the age of five.
Today, 10 out of 11 make it past their fifth birthday.
This progress doesn’t mean we should sit back and take a break.
Now is the moment to seize upon the momentum of past years and boldly declare that we are
going to end preventable child deaths.
This is our common goal for humanity.
We are going to give every child, no matter where they were born, the same chance to put
on a backpack and get an education.
Ending preventable child deaths means, first, giving children a healthy start by providing
pregnant mothers with quality antenatal care and nutrition during pregnancy.
It means newborns are given a safe delivery are able to breathe in the first crucial moments
of life, so no child dies of asphyxia and are properly nourished to avoid stunting.
For most kids, the difference between life and death is the ability to fend off devastating
killers like pneumonia, diarrhea, undernutrition, malaria, vaccine preventable diseases, and
HIV.
Many of the solutions are simple, cost-effective and fit into a backpack.
A few tiny vials of vaccines prevent pneumonia, measles and other infections that can quickly
become life threatening.
Micronutrients, which can be added to local foods, ensure that the right mix of vitamins
and minerals to foster strong physical and mental growth and weigh little more than the
package they come in.
A dose of zinc, to lessen the severity of deadly dehydrating diarrhea, is the size of
a salt packet.
Even a bed net, which envelops the sleeping child in a cocoon of safety from malaria-carrying
mosquitoes, folds to be no larger than the size of a sweater.
A small packet contains tiny miracles that keep children from contracting HIV during
birth, help nurses save newborns who aren’t breathing, and give emergency nutrition.
There are many moments where we have all felt helpless against a problem as big as 7.6 million
children dying every year, over 21,000 kids dying every day, 14 kids dying every minute.
That doesn’t mean we are.
We have the power to give a child in Africa the same chance of growing strong and healthy
as one born in the United tates, Canada or Europe.
With your help we will end preventable child deaths and give every child a 5th Birthday.
Everyone has a role to play when it comes to the survival of the world's children.
All we have to do is act.