sad children Pixabay

Lege beloften en dode kinderen

LONDEN – Ineengeklemd tussen de andere 168 doelen opgenomen in de Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) – aangenomen door de Verenigde Naties afgelopen september onder het geweld van flitsende evenementen, toezeggingen van beroemdheden, en elkaar op de rug slaande wereldleiders, donors, en niet-gouvernementele organisaties – bevond zich ook de cruciale belofte om ‘te voorkomen kindersterfte’ tegen 2030 te hebben uitgeroeid. Dit is een zaak voor onze generatie – maar een die veel meer om het lijf zal hebben dan het de wereld in brengen van VN-communiqués.

De laatste reeks internationale ontwikkelingsdoelen, de Millennium Development Goals, heeft absoluut belangrijke veranderingen teweeg gebracht: het aantal kinderen dat voor zijn vijfde verjaardag sterft daalde van 10 miljoen in 2000, toen de MDG’s werden aangenomen, naar 5,9 miljoen in 2015. Een aantal van de armste landen ter wereld hebben de grootste winst genoteerd.

Deze vooruitgang werd gedreven door verschillende factoren, waaronder een dalende armoede en grote investeringen in communautaire gezondheidszorg. Door het inzetten van zusters, vroedvrouwen, en andere gezondheidswerkers, breidden deze systemen de beschikbaarheid van prenatale zorg, simpele verloskundige interventies, het hygiënisch afsnijden van de navelstreng, en postnatale zorg uit. Ethiopië heeft de afgelopen tien jaar bijvoorbeeld een klein leger van ongeveer 38.000 gezondheidswerkers op de been gebracht.

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