Child Mortality: Are We Contravening Their Right to Live?

Child Mortality: Are We Contravening Their Right to Live?

After the recent whistle by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that MDGs set for 2015 would not be met as per child
mortality, I’m set to assume that we are contravening their right to live. Of course, a child Must have a right to live equally to an adult
and nothing sounds logical against it!



More than six million children in 2011 could continue to live beyond their “fifth” birthday if they would have a sustainable access to safe drinking water, hygienic food and efficient healthcare all encapsulated in the covering of cost-effectiveness. And, the maternal health is crucial to their right of life.



But the contrary facts remain at the heart of the problem. Resilient by force, we’re now observing their death anniversary. This calls for a life-threatening horoscope for the coming generations while leaving their parents with a count-down panic. This strange yet man-caused quirk has nose-dived the universal health coverage outcomes.

Rather to put it sarcastically, it is worthy of acknowledgement that the health financing capitalized by the global leaders was amounted to billions of US Dollars even when we all were facing an economic meltdown. However, the inappropriate allocation of funding frustrated the development efforts in the developing countries. Transparency remains the major concern in the developing world to date. Like in Pakistan, the corruption is the cause célèbre of deep-seated socio-economic injustice.



Certainly, it was a landmark success for all the global stakeholders striving to reduce child mortality when under the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, each member State, including Pakistan, upheld the legal instrument for preserving the right to live for children with an emphasis that this would be considered within the ambit of fundamental human rights. Yes, a child becomes a human when it starts to breath independently after birth and this remains the common persuasive argument of all biological and legal debates focused on the definition of a human being.



But this declaration does not serve the whole purpose. The societal recognition is of paramount importance in this ray of optimism. Apart from the global efforts, each developing country showing high death rates among under five children must have to affirm and uphold their fundamental right in their respective jurisdictions.


Pakistan, though, is not alone in this course of child mortality but this should not give us a reason to loiter. The doctrine of fundamental rights in Pakistan should be enshrined further with a holistic view while considering a child equally a human being. The
political ownership in this regard is eccentric to dispensing with social justice. The primary healthcare needs to be strengthened
further along with appropriate sanitation and agricultural enrichment.


The maternal-child health follow-up programs in rural areas should be focused with keen endorsements and compensation so as to target the basic health units. More importantly, nepotism leading to merit-abuse seriously hampers efficiency of healthcare system. In a broader context, the media in Pakistan is seriously lacking in this particular area. The simple and foundational debates in all national languages should bear healthy discussions across the whole media.



Apart from these national sentiments, we have to think globally as well. Whilst achieving Millennium Development Goals, the international organizations working for the development of Pakistan should design and implement an integrated model to complement essential health needs. A study conducted recently in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa has implicated an integrated multisector model approach when the researchers reported encouraging reduction in child mortality through Millennium Villages. Perhaps, this could help us to save our children if implemented with a strategy adaptable with demographic features of the rural areas of Pakistan.



Otherwise, we will be advancing towards a dead planet in the future.

Waqas Masood Dogar

A contributor for The News/Geo blogs

  • Xari Jalil

    very interesting Waqas, a great piece!

    • Waqas Masood Dogar

      I’m chuffed to see your comments. Thanks!.

  • Waqas Masood Dogar

    Indeed, Henna! Thanks for your follow-up