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the millennium development goals
goal 4
reduce child mortality
Every child born into this world, no matter where their location, deserves to live a rich and full life. Unfortunately, the reality is that millions of innocent children die of preventable diseases. Every year 11 million children in the developing world die before the age of five, and 70% of the causes of these deaths are due to disease or malnutrition.  

Child mortality is deeply interlocked with all the other Goals and consequences of extreme poverty: gender inequalities in education, inadequate sexual health education for girls and women, the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and non-sustainable environmental practices. Each one is a major contributor to poor and dangerous living conditions.The target of Goal 4 is to reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under the age of five. In developing countries, 1 child in 10 dies before its fifth birthday, compared with 1 in 143 in high-income countries.
only with            
your voice
how youth are affected and involved
Youth can be active partners in decreasing the rate of child mortality. UNICEF, for example, has created partnerships with youth groups to construct and maintain water and sanitation services in some countries. Some youth, without any specific affiliations, take it upon themselves to lead site clean-up efforts in their communities.

Youth can act as counselors and mentors for their younger peers on issues such as sexual and reproductive health and family planning. Sharing stories and asking questions with an equal is a lot less intimidating for young people.

How would you get involved? Visit our Action page for ideas that suit you!

For more on Goal 4 please visit:

Millennium Campaign Youth Site

Millennium Campaign

World Bank

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what needs to be done  

Amanda Olson (United States)

The major causes of child mortality in developing countries are poor water quality and sanitation-related diseases. An overall increase in public spending on health is urgently needed so that immunizations are available to all, preventable diseases can be recognized and treated in their early stages, and more health care providers, particularly in rural areas, can be hired. For countries without functioning health care systems, vitamin supplements must be readily available.

Fundamentally, young women need sexual and reproductive health education to learn empower themselves to make better decisions about sexual relationships. This learning needs to be implemented in secondary school curriculum, and need not only be directed at young women. Men need to understand their responsibilities as sexually active individuals and also need information about sexually transmitted diseases and preventing unwanted pregnancies.