World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Health Systems Key To Helping Africa's Children

Boosted investment in health key to help Africa's children, says UNICEF

28 May 2008 - Stepped-up investment to enhance health systems in sub-Saharan Africa is essential to help the continent's children, according to a new report by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched today.

"Every year, nearly 10 million children die before their fifth birthday and one half of these deaths occur in Africa," said Ann M. Veneman, the agency's Executive Director. "Where community-based integrated health systems are in place, lives can be saved."

Child mortality has been slashed by at least 45 per cent in five African countries - Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia - between 1990 and 2006, putting them on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

Although child mortality has dropped 14 per cent in the same time period in sub-Saharan Africa, it remains the most difficult place in the world for a child to survive, with one in every six children dying before their fifth birthday.

The report entitled "The State of Africa's Children 2008" spotlights recent successes in child survival and primary health-care in sub-Saharan Africa. Measles deaths in the region have dropped 91 per cent between 2000 and 2006, while four of the world's least developed nations - Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique - have seen their under-five mortality rates fall by at least 40 per cent since 1990.

The new study urges continued care for children, from pregnancy into childhood and adolescence, and this care must span the household, community, local clinic, district hospital and beyond.

In a related development, experts in yellow fever are taking part in a UNICEF-backed meeting to discuss recent vaccination campaigns in Togo, Mali and Senegal that immunized millions against the disease which is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes.

"We're finally moving from outbreak response to preventing all children in the most vulnerable countries in Africa from contracting yellow fever," said UNICEF Senior Health Adviser Edward Hoekstra.

Despite successes in campaigns in Togo, Mali and Senegal, "there's more still to do, particularly with the 9 other African countries where the risk is greatest," he said.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF show that there were over 200,000 cases of yellow fever and 52,000 deaths in 2005 in the 12 highest-risk African nations. It is estimated that the disease will cause 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths in these countries between 2006 and 2050.

The 28-29 May meeting is taking place at UNICEF's New York headquarters and includes representatives from WHO.


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC