Child mortality in Pakistan

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Sixty per cent of the world’s 5.9 million children who died before their fifth birthday last year were in 10 countries in Asia and Africa. Pakistan tops the list in child mortality rate among South Asian countries. The leading causes were complications due to premature birth, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. Pakistan is the seventh country in the world where every year 90,000 children die at the age of five due to pneumonia. Even though a vaccination for pneumonia is available for all children in the country but people are not aware of its importance and access to hospital is not easy for every childr. According to UNICEF and WHO, out of 10, less than two mothers are engaged in early breast-feeding in Pakistan and this is one of the lowest rates of breast-feeding in the world. These problems occur due to poverty and lack of education. The researcher recommended breast-feeding, vaccines for pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea as well as improving water and sanitation to help with children’s survival. Family planning, better nutrition and treatment of childhood illnesses are important factors contributing to improving conditions. Another very important measure to ensure is that trained and equipped health workers attend every birth. Pharmaceutical companies can do more by increasing the availability of products for the poorest new mothers. Awareness is very important to tell people about the consequences they might face due to lack of breast-feeding, not giving vaccinations to children and poor sanitations. Media and government have to work together to provide knowledge to the people, especially people in far-flung areas where medical and health facilities are poor.
KIRAN FATIMA
Islamabad

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