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The State of the World's Children 2008

Child Survival

image of The State of the World's Children 2008

The 2008 report examines the state of child survival and primary health care for children, with a strong emphasis on trends in child mortality.It appraises the lessons learned in child survival over the past century.The centerpiece of the report looks at several of the most promising approaches-community partnerships, the continuum of care framework and health-system strengthening for out-comes-to reach those mothers, new borns and children who are currently excluded from essential interventions. By highlighting examples from countries and districts where these have been successful, as well as exploring the main challenges to their expansion, this report offers practical ways to jump-start the progress.

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Child survival: Where we stand

What is a life worth? Most of us would sacrifice a great deal to save a single child. Yet somehow on a global scale, our priorities have become blurred. Every day, on average more than 26,000 children under the age of five die around the world, mostly from preventable causes. Nearly all of them live in the developing world or, more precisely, in 60 developing countries. More than one third of these children die during the first month of life, usually at home and without access to essential health services and basic commodities that might save their lives. Some children succumb to respiratory or diarrhoeal infections that are no longer threats in industrialized countries or to early childhood diseases that are easily prevented through vaccines, such as measles. In up to half of under-five deaths an underlying cause is undernutrition, which deprives a young child’s body and mind of the nutrients needed for growth and development. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene also contribute to child mortality and morbidity.

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