For the past week, the world’s gaze has been fixed on the heinous massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, which claimed the lives of 20 young students and six adults.
For families, nations and the world, children are the future; they represent all that is yet to come. Children are meant not only to survive, but to thrive. Their loss sends us searching for answers, and angers us into action. And so it only seems appropriate to turn our gazes to children all around the world, and how we can best help them in the year ahead.
Children in developing countries of the world — 19,000 to be precise — die every day from causes that are preventable, and as a study put forth by the Canadian Medical Association shows, making knowledge available and accessible is the key to effective health promotion and illness prevention.
UNICEF, with the help of Meltwater News, has done just that, surveying Canada's major media outlets to determine which child survival issues received the least profile this year. Their report describes these threats to survival, while at the same time injecting a dose of optimism by exploring what can be done to prevent them.
"These 19,000 children [who die each day] do not include the thousands of children who die in conflict, natural disasters or other humanitarian emergencies every year. Quite simply these are children who don't survive due to sickness, poor nutrition or injury," UNICEF's reporters Meg French, Melanie Sharpe and Tara Moayed wrote.
It is often said that the true measure of a nation's standing is how well it attends to its children. Studies have shown that measures of child survival are strong indicators of a country’s well being, as they reflect social, economic and environmental conditions in which children (and others in society) live.
Amongst the leading causes of death documented in the report are child drowning, tetanus and meningitis – survival risks for which clear solutions exist.
What are the other underreported causes of children’s deaths? What can we do to help? Click through the slideshow to find out.