from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – AS many as 6 000 children could die daily from preventable causes over the next six months as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues weakening health systems globally.
These potential child deaths will be in addition to the 2,5 million children who already die before their fifth birthday every six months in over 100 countries.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed grave concern as the COVID-19 escalates globally.
According to the agency, some 56,00 more maternal deaths could also occur in just six months, in addition to the 144, 000 deaths that already take place in developing countries over a six-month period.
“Under a worst-case scenario, the global number of children dying before their fifth birthdays could increase for the first time in decades,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore.
“We must not let mothers and children become collateral damage in the fight against the virus. And we must not let decades of progress on reducing preventable child and maternal deaths be lost.”
According to researchers, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health predicted countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda could potentially have the largest number of additional child deaths.
Djibouti, Eswatini, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Somalia are most likely to witness the highest excess child mortality rates.
“The COVID-19 crisis is a child rights crisis,” Fore lamented.
COVID-19 has claimed over 303, 000 lives from more than 4,5 million cases confirmed globally.
– CAJ News