UN Millennium Development Goal 6: Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Malaria, a mosquito-born disease caused by a parasite, is a silent catastrophe. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people die because of malaria. In 2010, 660.000 people worldwide lost their lives due to malaria infections, mainly in Africa, which was home to more than 90 % of the deaths. The same year, the total number of malaria cases rose up to 219 million on a global level. Every 45 seconds one child dies because of malaria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, quoted 14.5.2014; UNA of Finland. Printed material. 2014).

One of the UN Millennium Development Goals is to combat malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and other severe diseases. Still today, despite of the progress made, more than one million people worldwide die because of tuberculosis. However, in 1990, the amount of deaths caused by tuberculosis was twice as high as today. Malaria deaths decreased with about 25 per cent between the years 2000 and 2010. Even the amount of HIV infections decreases each year, although still 2,5 million people get infected with HIV every year. (UN Millennium Development Goals, quoted 14.5.2014; UNA of Finland, Printed Material. 2014).

In 2011, the amount of HIV positive people worldwide was 34 million. In the combat against HIV, knowledge and education is of out most importance, as well as using condoms during sexual intercourse.

HIV infections can occur:

– During unprotected sexual intercourse (of all kinds, even oral)

– Sharing syringes/needles (e.g. drug injections)

– In blood contact, e.g. through blood transfusions or through other blood products

– From a mother to a child during pregnancy or labor

– In breastfeeding

(Red Cross Finland. Quoted 14.5.2014).

Poliomyelitis, which was almost abolished, is again a threat in certain countries including Pakistan, Cameron, Syria, and a number of other countries. Civil wars are a huge threat in spreading the disease, whereas healthcare workers vaccinating against polio have even been killed by extremists and political radicals. (Helsingin Sanomat. 5.5.2014. Quoted 14.5.2014; WHO. Quoted 14.5.2014).

In the worldwide combat against these diseases following actions are of out most importance:

– Spreading knowledge and educating people in high-risk regions of the importance of good hygiene and the use of protection during sexual intercourse of any kind

– Efficient vaccination programs

– Malaria nets for people living in malaria regions

There are numerous organizations working towards abolishing severe diseases. As an example: NetsForLife – A partnership for Malaria prevention in Africa. (NetsForLife. Quoted 14.5.2014).

Can we work together towards a world without diseases?

  • suojaamattomassa yhdynnässä, myös suuseksissä
  • yhteisten neulojen, ruiskujen tai muiden ruiskeen antamiseen liittyvien välineiden käytössä
  • verikontaktissa, kuten virusta sisältävän veren siirron tai muun verituotteen kautta (nykyään kehittyneen terveydenhoidon maissa kaikki verituotteet testataan)
  • äidistä lapseen raskauden tai synnytyksen aikana
  • rintaruokinnassa.

– See more at: http://www.punainenristi.fi/node/3203#sthash.jsRus27S.dpuf

  • suojaamattomassa yhdynnässä, myös suuseksissä
  • yhteisten neulojen, ruiskujen tai muiden ruiskeen antamiseen liittyvien välineiden käytössä
  • verikontaktissa, kuten virusta sisältävän veren siirron tai muun verituotteen kautta (nykyään kehittyneen terveydenhoidon maissa kaikki verituotteet testataan)
  • äidistä lapseen raskauden tai synnytyksen aikana
  • rintaruokinnassa.

– See more at: http://www.punainenristi.fi/node/3203#sthash.jsRus27S.dpuf

UN Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduction of Child Mortality

UN Millennium Declaration:

“By the year 2015, we will have reduced under-five child mortality by two-thirds”.

Facts:

– Child mortality is decreasing

– Still, more than 20.000 children under the age of five die every day 

– Common causes for death: pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria

– Child mortality is high in 67 countries, of which only 10 can, with the current pace of change, achieve the goal set for 2015. 

– Child mortality is at its highest in sub-Saharan Africa. 

What affects child mortality: 

– Sufficient and healthy nutrition

– Access to clean water

– Hygiene

– Vaccinations and access to healthcare

– Lack of education for girls and women

(UNA of Finland. Printed material. 2014). 

In Finland, child mortality today is one of the lowest in the world, thanks to national vaccination (campaigns). In the beginning of the 20th century, every second child born in Helsinki died before the age of five. In the late 1930´s almost every 10th born child in Finland died under the age of one. 40 % of these children died of birth-related injuries, development misplacements or innate weakness. Today, in Finland, only a few per mille children under the age of one die, most commonly due to inborn deformities. (UNA of Finland. 2014; Statistics Finland. Quoted 8.5.2014).

UNICEF, United Nations Children´s Fund, is the world´s most influential organization supporting children (under the age of 18) in need. Founded in 1946, after the 2nd world war, UNICEF focuses on helping children. A year after its foundation, the organization launched its first vaccination campaign. At that time, Finland was among the countries receiving aid from the UNICEF. In the year of the Helsinki Olympics, 1952, UNICEF began its battle against malaria, and in 1965 UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Price. In 1988, UNICEF is working on launching a worldwide society working on abolishing polio. Once again, in 1998, UNICEF rises up to continue the battle against malaria. In 2006, UNICEF is one of the most important emergency aid givers, despite of the fact that still 80 % of the fund´s budget can be used to long-term development work.

(UNICEF Finland. Quoted 8.5.2014).

To fully understand the universal rights of children (everyone under the age of 18), please visit:

UNITED NATIONS Human Rights => Convention on the Rights of the Child

Since we cannot assume that children under the age of 18 are (fully) aware of their rights as children, especially if living in conditions where they may not even have access to education, it is necessary for adults to protect the rights of children.

The world has long ago made a promise to do everything to protect and to promote the rights of children, their survival, learning and growth, and listening to children. Despite of much progress made, there are still problems all over the world concerning the rights of children, and in some regions the situation may even have gotten worse. 2014 has been declared as a year of innovation at UNICEF, whereby the fund activates change-makers everywhere to rethink and drive improved results. (UNICEF. Quoted 8.5.2014).

In addition to the many local offices of UNICEF around the world, there are other independent organizations working to improve the life of children worldwide. These include Plan, World Vision, Save the Children and many others.