Saturday, February 4, 2012

A scandal that does not make the news

Imagine if a jumbo jet full of children crashed and all died. It would make headlines. Imagine if 5 jumbos crashed on the same day. Wow! That would get a lot of attention. Imagine the outcry if it turned out that all the crashes could have been preventable by simple maintenance. There would be a huge outcry, formal inquiries, demands for resignations, lawsuits, new government regulations, ....
Imagine if this happened two days in a row.... every day in a week.... every day of the year!

Well it does happen....
Every day of the year about 22,000 children under the age of 5 die, most from preventable diseases.

This is some of what I learnt this week at an excellent evening run by Compassion. I am a big fan of their child sponsorship program. They have started an additional program, the Child Survival Program, which focusses on pregnant mothers and new borns. I realised the value of this given research (discussed in an earlier post) showing how early childhood trauma can shape brain development and have such a significant effect on a child's future.

One really encouraging thing about this depressing topic is that due to concerted action things are getting better. (Pessimists like myself need to hear this). Since 1990 there has been a significant decrease in child mortality, from 12.5 million to 8.1 million in 2009. The 4 million decrease is like saving the lives of all the young children in Australia every year!

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