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Vane promesse e morti infantili

LONDRA – Sepolto tra i 169 obiettivi contenuti negli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals, SDG) – adottati dalle Nazioni Unite lo scorso settembre in un’ondata di eventi mondani, testimonial e grandi pacche sulla spalla da parte di leader mondiali, associazioni umanitarie e organizzazioni non governative – troviamo la promessa vitale di porre fine alle “morti infantili prevenibili” entro il 2030. La nostra generazione deve abbracciare questa causa, ma serviranno molto più dei comunicati Onu per intravedere qualche passo avanti.

L’ultima seria di obiettivi internazionali sullo sviluppo, gli Obiettivi di Sviluppo del Millennio (Millennium Development Goals, MDG) hanno certamente portato progressi importanti; il numero di bambini morti prima dei cinque anni è sceso da dieci milioni nel 2000, anno di adozione degli MDG, a 5,9 milioni nel 2015. Alcuni dei Paesi più poveri al mondo hanno registrato alcuni dei progressi più significativi, che sono stati spinti da diversi fattori, inclusi un calo della povertà e un aumento degli investimenti nei sistemi sanitari territoriali. Impiegando infermieri, ostetriche e altri operatori sanitari, questi sistemi hanno esteso l’accessibilità delle cure prenatali, di semplici interventi ostetrici, del taglio del cordone in condizioni di pulizia e dell’assistenza post-parto. L’Etiopia, ad esempio, ha dispiegato un piccolo esercito di 38.000 operatori sanitari nell’ultimo decennio.

Anche la cooperazione internazionale è stata cruciale. Gli aiuti per le cure sanitarie per madri e bambini sono cresciuti drasticamente dal 2000, e ora si aggirano sui 12 miliardi di dollari l’anno. Gli aiuti destinati allo sviluppo hanno consentito la creazione di programmi sanitari territoriali, e hanno rivestito un ruolo chiave nel sostenere lo sviluppo e l’utilizzo di vaccini, zanzariere e cure mediche che dal 2000 hanno ridotto del 70% le morti infantili provocate dalle principali malattie killer infettive, polmonite, diarrea, malaria e morbillo.

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