One IV in Tanzania and Venezuela costs less than a small coffee. Little else, a mosquito net that protects mother and baby from disease-spreading insects. In most African and Asian countries, none of these things are included in the public health system. Women admitted to the hospital with babies and infants must be prepared to pay for each syringe and dressing used in their treatment. Only with sufficient funds are they able to ensure their child's survival.
Data collected by WHO over the past three decades show that the global under-five mortality rate has decreased by 59 percent, from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 38 in 2019. The main causes of death are birth complications, malaria, pneumonia, birth defects, diarrhea - factors that can be prevented or treated with simple, inexpensive interventions, immunizations, and access to a trained healthcare professional
- The greatest help we give? I guess it's just an ordinary education. That the first choice in looking for medical help was a hospital, not a shaman, that the diet was rich in iron, and that you always boil water and milk before drinking - says Beata Stecz-Niciak, a gynecologist who participated in the projects of the Polish Medical Mission in Jordan and Tanzania.
The risks to which children are exposed will vary depending on where they are born. In countries with more developed healthcare systems, regular checkups and access to medicines have largely eliminated life-threatening diseases. However, in many places around the world, preschool children are still exposed to measles, tuberculosis, and AIDS, which lead to death if left untreated. The most important thing is prevention and ensuring quick and uninterrupted access to drugs when the disease has already occurred.
- These two things are most often missing. Often, due to the work in difficult terrain, with long distances between houses, we decide to use mobile clinics, but they cannot replace the existence of facilities where a doctor and a well-equipped pharmacy would always be available. That we would not send people in need of help with a wish for health, but actually provide for all their needs so as to save their lives - says Ewa Piekarska, President of the Polish Medical Mission.
The medical "Three Delays" model suggests that pregnancy-related mortality is overwhelmingly due to delays in deciding to seek appropriate medical care in obstetric emergencies; reaching the appropriate maternity facility and receiving appropriate care upon arrival at the facility. Thanks to extensive medical support programs, women have a chance for safe delivery, and children for survival and healthy development.