WORLD VISION: Child Health Gap

World Vision’s study finds there is a big gap in health rich and health poor children in Nepal

Oct. 6, 2013, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 07 No. -8 Oct. 4- 2013 (Ashoj 18, 2070)

Despite making certain progress, a great gap still exists in child health, which has been costing the lives of hundreds of children. Nepal ranked 124 on the World Vision’s global index. According to the aid agency, Nepali children fall through the cracks every year, despite progress. The report exposes the gap between the health rich and health poor.   

"A ‘devastating’ gap exists between the health rich and health poor in every country, contributing to the deaths of thousands of children every day,” according to the recent report released by the World Vision. The Global Index of Health Inequality for Children assesses 176 countries around the world according to the size of the gap between those who have access to good health and those who don’t. Nepal is ranked at a surprising 124 on the global index.

“It’s sad that though Nepal is making progress in Millennium Development Goals, many children continue to pay the price for the great gap in health, with their lives,” said Pushkar Khati, World Vision’s Child Health Now Campaign Specialist.

“Over the past 10 years, Nepal has made a lot of progress – the number of children under the age of five dying every year has fallen dramatically. But it’s still high –under-five mortality rates is 54 deaths per 1,000 live births. At this mortality level, one in every 19 does not survive to his or her fifth birthday.” said Khati.

The report and Global Health Gap Index were released by the World Vision to mark the Close the Gap campaign, which this week saw hundreds of supporters in Far Western region of Nepal asking political leaders and decision makers to do everything possible to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 , tackling child health.

The campaign mobilised local community people during the week. Some 45 community events took place also marking the festival of Teej like song competitions, street dramas and rallies in Doti and Kailali districts where more than 5000 people took part.

The Global Health Gap Index, in World Vision’s The Killer Gap report, ranks 176 countries based on four criteria measuring health outcomes. World Vision launched a week of mobilisation – “Close the Gap” – in the Far Western region of Nepal, with public events to call on leaders to help close the health gap Close the Gap is part of World Vision’s five-year Child Health Now campaign, aiming to end preventable child deaths.

Child Health Now is World Vision’s global campaign to end preventable deaths of children under five. Globally, over 7 million children under the age of five die each year from preventable causes, like birth complications and infections, diarrhea and pneumonia.

According to a press release issued by World Vision, the underlying cause of one third of these deaths is malnutrition. Addressing child mortality means improving the health of both mothers and children.

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