Causes Of Child Mortality - by Shakira Asrabeen (2013)

Updated: Jan 12


“Today children are future leaders”

Dr. Abdul Kalam

In this entire world, we got many resources all around us. But I strongly believe that children are priceless resources and gifts from God, and obviously they are the one who going to lead this universe in the future. According to The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as “a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”.

Wikipedia simply defends “generally children as who have fewer rights than adults and are classed as unable to make serious decisions, and legally must always be under the care of a responsible adult”.  Everyone was a child once. Most of us have a wonderful and happy childhood memories because we were well treated by our family; supported our education, they gave us food to eat, and encouraged us into the person as we are today. But it is our responsibility to ensure that the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of children should be sufficiently and competently met.

However when it’s come to the reality, there are many children in the all over the world struggling with hunger poverty, war, racism, global changes and so on. While looking in to these problems that increasing level of child mortality rate took main place in the current issues of the world. Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five (United Nation children fund (2012)).

It has been almost 14 years since world leaders have established the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4), which plans to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Only one year remain before the 2015 deadline. The global under-five mortality rate needs to be dropped to 29 deaths per 1,000 live births—which implies an yearly rate of dropping of 14.2 percent for 2011 to 2015, in this attempt united nation reflects on many techniques which can provide a good solution to the future generation.

Problem Statement

There are many factors hiding behind the concept of child death, such as child abuse, suicide, accidents, and natural disasters and so on. But poverty and hunger, lack of education in parents and diseases are the main and basic factors which lead to the increasing level of child death. Moreover each of these causes is related to each other. In this report I am going to explain real impacts of poverty, lack of parent education and diseases in child mortality.

 “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

                                                               ― Mahatma Gandhi

Child poverty is the word refers to the children living in in poverty environment, Mostly they comes from poor family background or orphans who grown with limited resources. Children still die because their parents cannot offer what they need, or afford enough food to keep them healthy. And “in the UK, 1.6 million children are living in severe poverty. Being born into a poor family dramatically decreases a child’s chances of a brighter future (child poverty (2012)).

When nation failed to give equal wealth sharing between poor and richer, it faces a big level of poverty and death. War, disease, corruption, lack of resources and strict environmental situations bother many of these countries, contributing to their poverty. These factors are a major cause of death, which in turn leads to a higher number of single parents and orphaned children.

Furthermore in many countries food is treated as a commodity, those who can get food are the ones who can afford to pay for it. Apart from the hunger those children they remains backward in social, educational fields, gain disadvantages in economy and health and safety. Apart from that this poverty offered kit of death in children society, According to UNICEF (1998 -2013), 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the study and the conscience of the world”.

Shah.A (2010) says that over 9 million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition. 5 million are children. In addition According to a Save the Children paper, children from the poorest households in India are three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than those from the richest households. It’s totally clear that poverty and hunger made huge changes in future generation. Famine, drought are the geographical factors and Increasing emphasis on export-oriented agriculture, Inefficient agricultural practices, Over-fishing, Poor crop yield, Lack of democracy and rights are the human activities which cause poverty.

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”

                                                                                                     ― Brigham Young

Mother is a first teacher of every child and parents are the first relation for every born. Parents are the backbone of their kids’ achievements, education, and characters. When it comes to the child survival every mother should have basic knowledge of primary education and maternal education. In Wikipedia it defends maternal education as” Maternal health is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality”.

Over 10 million infants and children under 5 years of age die each year. Over 99% of these deaths occur in the developing countries and the least developed countries (Andrews.K.M,  Brouillette.D.B & Brouillette.R.T, 2008).Furthermore Tulasidhar (2003), in his research he stated the argument of (Mosley & Chen 1984; Cleland & Ginneken.V 1988) it states that mother’s education impacts child in two ways: though better child- care practices and higher standard of sanitation in home, and more rational and greater use of preventive and curative medical services and also he mentioned that educated mothers are also found to have a superior knowledge of diseases and they seeks timely treatment more often.

For example as a mother, should have the knowledge of child’s health such as, child diseases, weight, height, food consume, child activities and child relationship unless she will face problems during taking care of her child and it may lead to taste death. The data of survey which collected from 41 countries shows that children of with no formal education face significantly high level of risk of newborn death; this risk is twice then the risk of more literate mothers (Tim Miller (2003). For a case in point, well-educated mothers might have low level of infant death because of a great use of healthier productive patterns and prenatal care of baby.

And they have the ability to understand the bio- medical explanation which related to the socioeconomic factors, child diseases and child mortality. Moreover Women without any educational background tend to have children at an earlier age, thus their bodies are not yet mature enough to carry and deliver a child.  Mothers without the idea about maternal they have a higher probability of getting pregnant one after the other. It will increase the chances of child death and poverty.

“Good health is above wealth.”


Even though, poverty and lack of maternal education made impacts in child mortality, health diseases have made huge disadvantage in child generation. More likely the children from the poor and illiterate background do not have proper knowledge about environment and health care. They easily get sick and their unhealthy life style creates diseases on them. From the survey of UNICEF about 29,000 children under the age of five, 21 children are dying in each minute every day, mainly from preventable causes.

Byass.P, Ghebreyesus.T.A (2005) stated in his research that in 2000–03, six causes accounted for 73% of the 10.6 million yearly deaths in children younger than age 5 years: preterm delivery (10%),  pneumonia (19%), malaria (8%), diarrhoea (18%), neonatal or sepsis (10%), and asphyxia (lack of oxygen ) at birth (8%). The four transmittable disease sorts account for more than half (54%) of all child deaths.

The greatest transmissible disease killers are similar in all WHO regions with the exception of malaria; 94% of global deaths attributable to this disease occur in the Africa region. Under nutrition is an underlying cause of 53% of all deaths in children younger than age 5 years. In this disaster sub-Saharan Africa remains first place with one in nine children die before reaching the age of five in.

However, most of the child diseases are preventable. It can be cured by preventable- treatments. But, on the other hand not enough medical facilities, lack of technology, lack of knowledge about the causes and impacts of these diseases, not enough better nutrition in food, lack of money are being barriers in curing these diseases. For example, people need to spend more money for medicine in order to get treatment and those people who are in under the poverty line they couldn’t offer money doctor fee, high calorie food, and treatment.

This situation creates death among children very quickly. Even in the urban areas also people don’t have awareness of these diseases. On the other hand, it remains only 1 year to meet MDG -4 reducing child mortality goal. United Nation has taken many actions against rising child mortality. Some of the countries have taken its own efforts to reduce child death. For example, Canada plays a leadership with the help of International Development Association (IDA) and World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries; and it’s give the result of nearly 600 million children being protected from 2003 to 2013.

Furthermore essential health services gain by117 million people; nearly 195 million pregnant women received pregnancy care; and nearly 150 million mosquito nets were purchased and distributed in the poorest countries.

“Children are our most valuable resource”.

                                                       -Herbert Hoover (31st U.S. president)

Preventing the children from the death evil is the supreme duty of all the citizens in the world. They are the one who going to make changes and miracles in the world. As quote of Mother Teresa, “It’s the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” It shows that we have to take some action to prevent our resources. Support national health systems, enhancing growth monitoring of children,  increasing immunization programs, ensuring the survival and improved health of mothers, supporting better nutrition for child and mother investing in improved reproductive health making infrastructure investments are the main actions which is on the progress under the UN in every country.  Request the government and the private companies to provide free vaccines, medical facilities, clean water for poor and orphan children will help them to protect their self from the diseases.

In addition as Mahatma Gandhi says, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Giving the basic education of diseases and prevention the children and parents, giving clear idea about maternal health will surely will protect the nation child from many dis advantages. In addition, helps to prevent disabilities such as mental stunting and blindness caused by malnutrition and diseases such as malaria in many more children it will help the children to establish a good future goal. From this report I recommend everyone to try your best for protect future generation from the evil of death.


1. Young.B. Retrieved December 25, 2013, from

2. Gandhi.M.Retrieved December 25, 2013, from

3. Millennium development goals. (2013). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 26, 2013, from

4. Smith.J.W, The World’s Wasted Wealth: the political economy of waste, (New World’s Press,1989),pp. 44, 45.s

5. Shah.A.(2011). Today, around 21,000 children died around the world, Global Issue,September 24, 2011.Retrieved December 25,2013 from

6. Andrews, K.M.; Brouillette, D.B and Brouillette, R.T. (2008). “Mortality, Infant”. Encyclopedia  of Infant and Early Childhood Development. Elsevier. pp. 343–359. Retrieved December 26, 2013, from doi:10.1016/B978-012370877-9.00084-0.

7. Peter Byass, Tedros A Ghebreyesus (2005). Making the world’s children count, TheLancet,365(9465), 26 March–1 April 2005, 1114-1116,Retrieved December 26, 2013,from

8. Reduce child mortality (MDG 4),(2013). Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) , Government of Canada.Retrieved December 26, 2013.

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality(2012). I Fight Poverty, Retrieved December 25, 2013,from


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