Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Recognized For Reductions in Child Mortality

Goal 4 of the Millennium Development Goals concerns child health, aiming for all countries to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015.

On Monday, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was presented with a UN award for her country's progress toward this important goal. In Bangladesh in 1991, 146 out of every thousand children died before they reached age five. Today, that number is just 54 per thousands births, making Bangladesh one of only nineteen countries that are on track to reach MDG 4.

In Bangladesh, this impressive progress is widely attributed to empowerment of women, which has been achieved through expanded schooling for girls, microcredit initiatives, and growth of women's civil society.

Reducing child mortality is closely related to the other MDG goals. Without a steady food supply, improvements in maternal health, and strong infrastructure, child mortality cannot be reduced. Today, the leading causes of child mortality are diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria, together responsible for over a third of all deaths in children worldwide.

-Elizabeth Newton

SOURCE: The Daily Star, Save the Children