On July 22, approximately 367,000 babies were delivered internationally and will share their birthday with the new infant son of Prince William and Princess Kate, heir to the British throne, Prince George– but when he celebrates his fifth birthday, many of them will be long dead. “Of the nonroyal 367,000 babies born Monday, UNICEF estimates that 24,000 will probably not live to see their fifth birthday,” Slate.com grimly predicts. “Most of the 24,000 children under 5 we lose a day around the world die from preventable causes: diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth. In fact, diarrhea accounts for 16 percent of deaths of children younger than 5, around 760,000 a year. Most of these children would survive if their families had access to clean drinking water. Pneumonia,which kills an estimated 1.2 million children under 5 a year, could be severely reduced with better sanitation, better access to vaccines, and better access to antibiotics, which only 30 percent of children who have pneumonia around the world have access to. (It’s not all bad news! International efforts to implement basic prevention of child death have already reduced the number of children that die every day by 10,000 since 1990.)” UNICEF is one of the key international outreach organizations, whom you can support by clicking here.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works both home and abroad to improve the lives of impoverished citizens. “Our Global Development Division works to help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Our Global Health Division aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries.” Family planning in developing countries is one of the foundation’s goals to improve infant mortality rates as well as enrich the lives of girls and women, “Enabling women to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children reduces maternal and newborn deaths. It also results in fewer unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, increases opportunities for women, and leads to healthier families and communities.” The organization has also made a $28 million commitment to The Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Infants (IPTi) Consortium to evaluate a promising intervention for malaria control in infants in Africa.
Guidelines for donation can be viewed here, though the organization notes that, “the foundation does not and will not solicit donations. Our goal is not fundraising. Our goal is simply to honor the intentions of generous people.” — Casandra Armour