- Basic Health
- Maternal Health
- Child survival
- Family Planning
- Clean drinking Water
- HIV & AIDS
HIV AND AIDS
AIDS causes the deaths of approximately 8,200 people every single day, the majority of them in poor countries.
EQUITY AND CHILD-SURVIVAL STRATEGIES
in human rights law, the term “equity” is used to represent equality with fairness. This is synonymous with the notion of distributive justice, or fair distribution of good things within a society, whether they be material possessions, access to health care, or simply survival. There is nothing that highlights the inequity of our world more starkly than child mortality, and we believe that pneumonia is the cause of childhood death that most strongly reflects this inequity. Between countries the differences in child mortality rates are enormous and well documented. For a child born today, the risk of death in the first 5 years of life in Japan is 6 per 1000, while in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Angola and Sierra Leone the risk is over 40 times as great.1 This is considering survival only; the chances of a child fulfilling their cognitive and growth potential are similarly inequitable.
Within countries there is also gross inequity in child health and child survival, about which much less is known. In Africa it is common to find mothers who have lost more than half of their children. These high-risk families are representatives of high-risk communities or high-risk strata within communities. To address the problem of inequity in child survival we must understand who these groups are and why they are at particularly high risk.
There is considerable evidence that the risk of child death is affected by where one lives. This is usually assessed using the relative risk of mortality between urban and rural areas. Recent data from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) show that, in a survey of 63 developing countries, rural communities suffer 52% higher child mortality rates than urban communities, a differential that is similar to that between the richest 40% and the remainder of the population
The impact of distance from a health facility on child mortality is particularly acute in settings where a substantial proportion of the population lives in areas with either very difficult or no access to reasonable care
Mankind Community health volunteer attends to mothers and their babies in a remote village in Sindh province in Pakistan, where some 5,000 women have been trained to provide key services and interventions for pregnant women and children.
MATERNAL AND PRENATAL HEALTH
About 287 000 women died in 2010 of complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these deaths can be avoided as the necessary medical interventions exist and are well known. The key obstacle is pregnant women’s lack of access to quality skilled care before, during and after childbirth.
Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5), improve maternal health, set the targets of reducing maternal mortality by 75% and achieving universal access to reproductive health by 2015. But, so far progress in reducing maternal mortality in developing countries and providing family planning services has been too slow to meet the targets.
CAUSES OF MATERNAL MORTALITY
The major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include hemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labour. These complications may arise unexpectedly. Investing in health systems – especially in training midwives and in making emergency obstetric care available round-the-clock – is key to reducing maternal mortality.
Addressing the barriers to use of care and creating a environment within households and community that support women in seeking the needed care is also key.
THE PRENATAL PERIOD
The prenatal period commences at 22 completed weeks (154 days) of gestation and ends seven completed days after birth. Prenatal and maternal health is closely linked.
Prenatal mortality refers to the number of stillbirths and deaths in the first week of life (early neonatal mortality).
In 2009 there were 2.6 million stillbirths globally with more than 8200 deaths a day. At least half of all stillbirths occurred in the intrapartum period. Among the 133 million babies born alive each year, 2.8 million die in the first week of life. The patterns of these deaths are similar to the patterns for maternal deaths; the majority occurring in developing countries. Quality skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth are key for the health of the baby and the mother.
MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
In the 1980’s, the United States increased funding for MCH-related programs. At that time, it was estimated that 17 million children under the age of 5 died every year. The global under-five mortality rate has declined by nearly half (49 per cent) since 1990, dropping from 90 to 46 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013. The total number of
maternal deaths also decreased globally by 45% from 523,000 in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.