Of the 20.7 million people (36.1% of Italians) living in southern Italy, 35% are poor, living with less than 521 Euro/month. However, 63% of these are living with less than 435 Euro/month, representing a more dramatic figure. This was also confirmed in a recent report on the European Union's social situation which shows that Southern Italy, with 35% of its people at risk of poverty, can be considered the European country with the highest poverty rate, but also with highest percentage of children. Inequalities within countries are well known and affect child health more than other areas. Social and economic factors are determinants of child health inequalities and the grave matter of childhood poverty. The inequalities concerning Italian children are evident in neonatal mortality, with rates four times higher in the South compared to the North. Furthermore the quality of perinatal care (measured in terms of early neonatal death for low birth-weight children) is associated with latitude. Some indicators also suggest a lack of paediatric services (hospitalization migration index) in terms both of quality and quantity. The inequalities are also related to health prevention (immunization coverage) and social (youth unemployment) and educational (primary school abandonment and school dropout) aspects that have a profound effect on the welfare of Italian children. The Italian scenario concerning the future of all its children is not encouraging. The implementations of public health programs focusing on promoting, monitoring, and improving child wellbeing should be taken on as a recognised challenge and should represent one of the political commitments.
|Translated title of the contribution||Children's health in the poorest European country: The south of Italy|
|Title of host publication||Quaderni ACP|
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health