A recent report by the United Nations Children’s Find(UNICEF) shows significant improvement in health conditions of children in many nations. Through concreted of government and international organizations, mortality rate for children under five years of age has fallen in a number of countries.
Nevertheless, the report also shows that each year, millions of more young lives could be spared by simple and in expensive means, especially in developing countries, like Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Niger etc. Parent in these nations and elsewhere may find the following recommendations in the report helpful.
Breast-feeding is the best possible start towards good health and nutrition. According to the World Health Organization(WHO), over one million infants’ lives could be saved in a year if all babies were exclusively breasfed for about the first six months.
Since hospitals and maternity units set a powerful example, UNICEF and WHO are promoting a baby-friendly hospital initiative. The objective is to motivate hospitals to give mothers of newborn babies support and proper advice regarding breast-feeding.
The toll of diseases could be drastically reduced by safe water, using latrines, washing hands before handling food, preparing and storing food safely. Though in many communities, great effort is required to obtain enough of clean water which is indispensable to child and family health.
Vitamin-A supplementation could prevent as many as three million children from dying each year. The solution to the problem is available and affordable and many be realized by improving diets, fortifying foods or distributing vitamin-A capsule.
Distributing reasonable quantity of Vitamin-A capsule periodically to young children is already proving effective in nations where vitamins-A deficiency is common. Also recommended are foods like papayas, mangoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables and eggs.
UNICEF says that half the annual percentage of child death caused by diarrhoea could be prevented with the aid of inexperienced and easy-to-prepared mixtures of clean water, salt and sugar. This is also known as Oral Rehydration Therapy(ORT). Already, an estimated one million lives a year are being saved by these means.