The Millennium Development Goals are intertwined like roots of a tree and together form a platform for a world free from poverty, hunger, disease, ignorance, inequality and violence. The goals cannot be achieved piecemeal.
Similarly, children cannot survive and thrive when the essential elements of their lives – family, nutrition, health care, education, safety and play – are fragmented.
CHILD SURVIVAL AND DEVELOPMENT
The major causes of infant and child mortality are pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria and measles. In 2006, UNICEF and the World Health Organization released a landmark publication, Pneumonia: The forgotten killer of children, which identified pneumonia as the number one cause of all deaths of children under five. Pneumonia kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
The Accelerated Child Survival and Development programme, supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and UNICE , reaches more than 16 million people in 11 countries in West and Central Africa where under-five mortality rates are high. Young children receive nutrition, immunizations, vitamin A supplements and oral rehydration for the management of diarrhoea. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life is promoted. Malaria is mitigated by offering insecticide-treated mosquito nets, antimalarial drugs and preventive treatment during pregnancy. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is also an integral programme component. In 2006, Ghana expanded and adopted this holistic approach as national policy.
MANY ROADS, ONE DESTINATION