Lend a hand: Help kids reach their 5th birthday

Fritzie Rodriguez
Not all children can make it to their 5th birthday. The lack of access to basic needs such as food, water, and medicine lowers their chances of surviving.

LEND A HAND. Help kids reach their 5th birthday, through good nutrition, proper hygiene, and education. Screengrab from World Vision's short film

MANILA, Philippines – Not all children can make it to their 5th birthday. The lack of access to basic needs such as food, water, and medicine lowers their chances of making it past the age of 5.

Globally, 6.6 million children in this age group died in 2012, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This means 18,000 deaths/day.

These deaths could have been prevented through “simple and affordable interventions.”

One of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG 4) is to reduce the under-5 child mortality rate by two-thirds from 1990 to 2015.

World Vision made a short stop-motion film about lending a hand in support of children under 5. Watch “Join Hands” below:

PH progress

The Philippines has been faring quite well in achieving MDG 4, according to latest data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

MDG 4 indicators

1990

2011

2015 target

Under-5 mortality rate

80%

30%

26.7%

Infant mortality rate

57%

22%

19%

Proportion of 1-year-old children immunized against measles

77.9%

68.7%

100%

 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) lauded the Department of Health, in partnership with local government units (LGUs), for its “effective and well-defined child and maternal health programs,” such as the promotion of breastfeeding and complementary feeding, micronutrient supplementation, immunization, family planning, and proper hygiene.

However, UNDP noted that child mortality remains high in rural areas where most women have unequal access to education and livelihood. (READ: Why most of the hungry are women)

Some of the leading causes of under-5 child deaths are fatal – yet highly preventable and curable – diseases like pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea. (WATCH: Malnutrition and the Pied Piper)

Aside from attending to the needs of young children, it is also important to address the nutritional needs of women during and after pregnancy. Healthy and well-informed parents can better support their children. (READ: Hunger and pregnancy)

Child malnutrition

45% of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition, WHO stressed.

Although the Philippines is on a good track towards achieving its MDG 4 target, its performance in other related MDGs has been rather stagnant.

Topping the list of MDGs is halving the prevalence of hunger and poverty. One of its components is to reduce the number of underweight children, and the Philippines has made little progress in this area. (READ: PH vs Hunger)

Prevalence of underweight children under-five

1992

2011

2015 target

26.5%

20.2%

13.6%

 

Beyond the statistics are the children themselves whose lives are put at risk. – Rappler.com

Child Health Now is a campaign by World Vision. It promotes good nutrition, proper childcare practices and education among families. If you want to participate, donate, volunteer, or sponsor a child, you may visit World Vision Philippines here.

You may also send your video materials, campaigns, and stories to move.ph@rappler.com. Be part of the #HungerProject.

 

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