Governments Must Take Action Based On New Child Mortality Data For LMICs, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Says In Opinion Piece

Nature: Data on child deaths are a call for justice
Michelle Bachelet, U.N. high commissioner for human rights and former president of Chile

“The chances of newborns surviving to adulthood have never been greater: in the past 20 years, rates of childhood death have fallen by more than half. Nearly all 193 United Nations member states have made tremendous progress. But within each country, disparities condemn many children to premature death. A study in Nature this week zooms in on the 99 low- and medium-income countries where, in 2017, 93% of deaths of children under 5 happened. … Tackling child mortality requires efforts across all government functions — providing access to medical treatment is just one element. If governments are to uphold citizens’ rights to health, they must consider the social determinants of children’s well-being. … Truly universal and high-quality health coverage demands policies that extend beyond the strictly medical framework. It requires measures to uphold the whole range of human rights and to combat inequality and deprivation. … Hard data, like those published this week, must be followed up by action across the whole spectrum of government and society” (10/16).