Child health is a growing concern at the global level, as infectious diseases and preventable conditions claim hundreds of lives of children under the age of five in low-income countries. Approximately 7.6 million children under five years of age died in 2011, calculating to about 19 000 children each day and almost 800 every hour. About 80 percent of the world's under-five deaths in 2011 occurred in only 25 countries, and about half in only five countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and China. The implications and burden of such statistics are huge and will have dire consequences if they are not corrected promptly. This paper reviews essential interventions for improving child health, which if implemented properly and according to guidelines have been found to improve child health outcomes, as well as reduce morbidity and mortality rates. It also includes caregivers and delivery strategies for each intervention. Interventions that have been associated with a decrease in mortality and disease rates include exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding strategies, routine immunizations and vaccinations for children, preventative zinc supplementation in children, and vitamin A supplementation in vitamin A deficient populations.
- child health
- essential interventions