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Campaign: Reduce Child Mortality

Goal 4 of the UNs Millennium Development Goals is to REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY (Ref: UN MDG-4, World bank data)

Target 4 A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

Some facts:

  1. Under five (under 5 years of age) mortality rate:
    • The number of children in developing countries who died before they reached the age of five in 1990 was 100 per 1,000 live births. The number of children in India who died before they reached the age of five in 2011 was 61 deaths per 1,000 live births.
    • The target for the number of children in India who die before they reached the age of five years needs to be 39 per 1,000 live births.
    • In the developed world (eg: USA), the number of children who died before they reached the age of five was 8 per 1,000 live births in 2011.
  2. Infant (under 11 months old) mortality rate:
    • The number of children in India who died before they reached the age of 11 months in 2010 was 47 per 1,000 live births.
    • The target for the number of infants in India who die before they reached the age of 11 months needs to be 26 per 1,000 live births.
  3. Proportion of one year old children immunized for measles:
(Source: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/mdgmomentum/images/MDG-infographic-4.jpg )

Major issues relating to health of new born children in India

(Source: http://www.epi.umn.edu/mch/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/baby-and-finger-620x474.jpg )

Scope of technology interventions required to address child mortality issue in India (Priority areas identified by Venture Centerís Campaign Curator)

  1. Malnutrition: Deficiency of Vitamins, Iron, Folic acid and Iodine is prevalent in Indian children. (Ref: CINI report)
    Solutions being/that can be explored:
    • Fortified low cost and easily available food for mothers as well as infants/children
  2. Pneumonia: Weaker/compromised immune system of children and unhealthy cooking practice (using soot emitting cooking fuel). Causal organisms are: Streptococcus pneumonia (the most common cause), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)(second most common cause),respiratory syncytial virus and Pneumocystis jiroveci (in case of HIV infected children) (Ref: WHO fact sheet).
    Solutions being/that can be explored:
    • Using green fuel (emitting zero soot and healthy for indoor environment)
    • Fortified low cost and easily available food for mothers as well as infants/children
  3. Diarrhea: Majority cases caused by Rotavirus, other causal micro-organisms: E.coli, Cryptosporidium and Shigella (Ref: Report in The Hindu and Lancet Journal). There is a dearth of diagnostic tools and treatments (Ref: Ajjampur et al, J Med Microbio, 2008). Zinc supplements reduce duration of diarrheal episode (Ref: WHO fact sheet).
    Solutions being/that can be explored:
    • Access to safe drinking water: Low cost water filters (no requirement for electricity).
    • Easy and quick turnaround diagnostic kits (point-of-care devices).
    • Cheap and easily available vaccines against the listed pathogens.
    • Low cost and easily available supplements with combination of Zn, Vitamins and minerals.
    • Ready to use ORS (oral rehydration solution) at low cost.
(Source: http://www.emro.who.int/images/stories/media/saving_lives_mothers_children.gif )