The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) aim to reduce the striking inequalities between the rich and the poor within single countries and set internationally agreed development aspirations for the world's population to be met by 2015. These goals have underlined the importance of improving health, particularly the health of mothers and children, as an integral part of poverty reduction. One of the MDGs is the reduction of child mortality by two-thirds from 1990 levels, even though recent evaluations suggest that, for poorer countries, this will not be met. The future and well being of a society depends on the current health of children and their mothers, since they will be the guardians of that future. Each year, 3.3 million babies, or possibly more, are stillborn, more than 4 million die within 28 days from birth, and a further 6.6 million of young children die before their fifth birthday. A wide inter- and intra-country infant mortality rate (IMR) related to the human development index (HDI) persists. The extremes are represented by Sierra Leone, with a 0.275 HDI and an IMR value of 167 per thousand live births, and Norway, with a 0.942 HDI and a 4 IMR value, respectively. Within the countries of Brazil, China and Italy for example, the HDI and IMR varies up to two or three fold, based on to the region or state considered. Exclusion from healthcare is a key feature of inequity as well as a key constraint to progress. In many countries, universal access to the care all children are entitled to is still far from being achieved. Refocusing the technical strategies developed in child health programmes, as well as putting more emphasis on the importance of giving every child the right to access health care from the neonatal period to childhood and adolescence, is necessary.
|Translated title of the contribution||Child health inequalities among countries|
|Title of host publication||Quaderni ACP|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health