Prevent Child Deaths

Posted on September 15, 2012

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According to UNICEF, the leading causes of under-5 year old deaths worldwide include Pneumonia, Diarrhea, Malaria, and complications during birth. As you will see below, these conditions could be prevented by adequate education and resources.

Teaching the importance of handwashing and ensuring that children live in clean environments may prevent the spread of Pneumonia and diarrhea. With diarrhea, adequate nutrition and access to safe drinking water may also prevent severe dehydration. Having adequate supplies, such as mosquito nets and medications, may prevent Malaria, and having access to well-equipped hospitals/birthing centers and well-trained medical personnel will allow for safer births.

Deaths caused by these conditions are preventable, but only if we all work together to ensure that we all have access to medical supplies, clean living environments, safe drinking water, and adequate nutrition.

To learn more, visit www.unicef.org. To donate to UNICEF, please visit the fundraising site I set-up through US Fund for UNICEF at http://inside.unicefusa.org/goto/ithinkiwantiwill.

Pneumonia

  • Lung inflammation mostly caused by infection but also by accidental inhalation of liquids or chemical
  • Common causes: bacteria, virus, fungi
  • Prevention: handwashing, not smoking, and protecting self by wearing a mask when dealing with dust or mold; vaccine is also available for pneumonia caused by bacteria

Diarrhea

  • Loose, watery stools more than 3x a day, which may cause severe dehydration or may be a sign of a serious medical condition
  • Common causes: bacteria, viruses, parasites, medicines, intolerance to certain foods, diseases affecting the stomach and intestines

Malaria

  • Caused by a parasite transmitted by infected mosquitoes
  • Major cause of worldwide deaths, especially in developing countries located in warm climates
  • Prevention: protective medicines, insect repellents, protective clothing, and mosquito netting to cover sleeping area

Birth complications

  • May risk the life of the mother and/or the baby
  • Possible complications: premature labor, umbilical cord problems, problems associated with the baby’s position, birth injuries
  • When some of these problems arise, the baby may have to be delivered through a Cesarean section.

References

  1. MedlinePlus. Childbirth Problems. 2012. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/childbirthproblems.html
  2. MedlinePlus. Diarrhea. 2012. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/diarrhea.html
  3. MedlinePlus. Malaria. 2012. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/malaria.html
  4. MedlinePlus. Pneumonia. 2012. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pneumonia.html
Posted in: Prevention