Earlier this month, The Express Tribune with the International New York Times published an article titled “State of Children: Pakistani child mortality rates nearly twice as high as India’s” which highlighted a recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report showing that one in every 14 Pakistani children die before their first birthday, and one in every 11 do not survive to their fifth birthday. These startling findings provide even greater proof of the necessity of programs that expand opportunity, and access to basic services, to children in Pakistan.
The article also focused on important connections that should be made when discussing ways to combat high child mortality rates, based upon conclusions provided by the UNICEF report. According to field experts, child mortality rates provide a good indication of the level of social development within a country because of their connection with nutrition, parents’ education, and access to healthcare. One important aspect of this dilemma is the connection that may be made between low levels of education, and an increase in the likelihood that families will take on labor-intensive, low paying jobs to make ends meet. These jobs put intense strain on family members, without resulting in adequate resources to support their needs. This often results in children being pushed into hazardous labor themselves, inhibiting their access to education, health and safety.
Without greater access to education and health services, the cycle of poverty will continue, with children bearing the brunt of the costs. This reality further supports the conclusion, drawn by the Marshall Direct Fund and other international development practitioners, that providing access to education and safe, healthy means of revenue-generation are important ways to support a better future for Pakistani children. Refer to the original article here.