sad children Pixabay

Promesses vaines et morts d’enfant

LONDRES – Enfoui parmi les 169 cibles des Objectifs de développement durables (ODD) – adoptés par les Nations Unies en septembre dernier à grand renfort d’événements où se réunit tout le gratin, les célébrités les appuyant, les dirigeants mondiaux qui se félicitent entre eux les donateurs et les organismes non gouvernementaux – se logeait l’engagement incontournable d’éliminer les « morts d’enfant évitables » d’ici 2030. Il s’agit là de la grande cause de notre génération – mais qui aura besoin de beaucoup plus que des communiqués de presse de l’ONU pour qu’elle avance.

La dernière série d’objectifs internationaux de développement, les Objectifs du millénaire pour le développement, ont certainement amené des progrès importants ; le nombre d’enfants décédés avant d’atteindre leur cinquième anniversaire a chuté de dix millions en 2000, l’année d’adoption des ODD, à 5,9 millions en 2015. Certains des pays les plus démunis du monde ont enregistré certains des plus grands gains.

Ces progrès ont été aidés par plusieurs facteurs, notamment la diminution du taux général de pauvreté et des investissements dans les réseaux de santé communautaires. En déployant des infirmières, des sages-femmes et d’autres professionnels de la santé, ces réseaux ont prolongé l’offre de soins prénataux, interventions simples en obstétrique, des mesures hygiéniques pour couper le cordon ombilical et des soins après naissance. L’Éthiopie, par exemple, a déployé un escadron de 38 000 professionnels de la santé au cours de la dernière décennie.

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