Every day, about 24,000 children in the developing world die of preventable or
treatable illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhea before they reach the age of
five, according to Save the Children. Nearly 4 million of these deaths occur
among newborns less than one month old, which is roughly equivalent to the
total number of babies born annually in the U.S. These tragedies occur because
many of these children live in marginalized urban and rural areas which lack
access to trained health professionals and health facilities. Local health workers
are trained to promote preventive care and to assess and treat children with signs
of disease and other life-threatening conditions.
According to Save the Children, the majority of these child deaths are preventable
through proven, low-cost interventions like vaccinations, better delivery and
newborn care practices, and treatment of common infections like diarrhea and
pneumonia. This care is delivered by local health workers serving in their own
communities or local clinics. In fact, Save the Children estimates that every four
seconds a child’s life is being saved as a result of the care provided by these local
health workers. However, global estimates suggest the need for over 4.2 million
more health workers to deliver this life-saving care throughout the world. The
PSAs highlight the local health worker as a hero, offering a sustainable solution
for child survival in the developing world.
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