Reaching the Unreached
People are Being Left Behind
Survival is hardest for mothers and children who are unknown, forgotten. Invisible.
In Canada, this seems impossible to imagine. But across the developing world, families living in remote communities, urban slums and conflict zones share an unimaginable reality – poverty and discrimination put good health out of reach.
Without information on who and where the most vulnerable are, they are left out of the planning and delivery of health care services. It's the hardest to reach that are being left behind.
Death is Preventable
The good news is that these deaths are preventable. Simple solutions are saving lives. In fact, the number of under-5 deaths has dropped nearly 53% since 1990.
With birth registration, access to basic health care, good nutrition, clean water and protection from disease, we are more able than ever to offer a healthy future for mothers and children everywhere.
A Certificate of Protection
A birth certificate is so much more than a piece of paper. To one-third of the world's children who aren't registered, it means they don't officially exist.
They remain outside of health systems and their rights are denied. They aren't protected against child labour, slavery, underage marriages or forced military service.
Everyone Deserves to be Counted
These unknown families often live in remote communities or conflict areas, where governments often fail – or are unable - to provide birth registration centres. With vast distances to travel in order reach the nearest one, the cost of the journey makes it impossible to make.
But these registrations are essential for planning and creating life-saving programmes in health, education, housing, sanitation and more. To ensure every child is counted, governments must work with communities to gather vital information – like recording births using mobile technology.
Access To Healthcare
Millions are Without Basic Health Care
Poverty is the number 1 barrier to mothers and children getting the health care they need.
There are over 1 billion people surviving on less than $1 a day and the simple reality is that health care is often both financially and logistically out of reach for millions of mothers and children.
Even with all the advances that have been made in child health and safe birthing practices, the most vulnerable continue to die unknown and uncounted, just because they can't access life-saving health services.
Simple Solutions Work
There are simple, cost-effective solutions that can make huge improvements in child and maternal heath.
Solutions like clean birthing kits, pre- and post-natal care, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies and skilled birth attendants can save millions of lives.
More than Starvation
The harsh reality is that poor nutrition can be a death sentence. Children who don't get the right things to eat suffer from poor brain development, delayed motor skills and slow or stunted growth.
This affects their school performance and ability to support themselves as adults. Plus, children who are weakened by malnutrition have a much harder time recovering from preventable illnesses.
Solutions are Simple
The good news is that something can be done without the need for major medical breakthroughs. Inexpensive, simple and effective solutions exist.
For example, vitamin A capsules boost the immune system, cost just $1.80 a year per child and can reduce related child deaths by 25%. And a breast milk-only diet in the first 6 months can provide nutrients and antibodies to save a million babies.
The challenge is getting these solutions to the hardest-to-reach mothers and children.
Protection From Disease
Death by Poverty
Diseases like malaria, pneumonia, polio and diarrhoea are still killing children at an alarming rate in the developing world.
Why are children still dying from these preventable diseases? The answer is poverty and its impact: undernutrition, lack of sanitation and clean water, no access to health care, hunger and lack of treated mosquito nets.
More Than Just Vaccines
The solutions to these issues include simple and inexpensive vaccinations, treated bed nets that repel malaria-carrying mosquitos, easy access to clean water and rehydration drinks to treat dehydration. But for the poorest, most vulnerable families, these treatments are often out of reach.