Global health: women and children pay the highest price for ‘gaping inequalities’ |

Presented data in the report show a clear and critical regression in almost all the main indicators of child well-being, as well as in many key indicators Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Since the last Report on the progress of every woman, every child published in 2020, food insecurity, hunger, child marriage, risks of intimate partner violence, depression and anxiety in adolescents have increased.

“Protect the Promise”

The report titled Protect the promise published by global partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEFUnited Nations Agency for Sexual and Reproductive Health, UNFPA, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and Countdown to 2030 as a biennial summary progress report in response to the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy Every Woman, Every child» Health of women, children and adolescents.

An estimated 25 million children were either under-vaccinated or not vaccinated at all in 2021, 6 million more than in 2019, increasing the risk of contracting deadly and debilitating diseases.

Millions of children have missed school during the pandemic, many for more than a year, while approximately 80 percent of children in 104 countries and territories have lost their education due to school closures.

10.5 million lost parents, guardians

Since the start of the global pandemic, 10.5 million children have lost a parent or guardian due to COVID-19.

At the heart of our broken promise lies a failure to address the gaping inequalities that underlie global crises.from the COVID-19 pandemic to conflicts and the climate emergency,” said UN chief António Guterres.

“The report outlines the impact of these crises on women, children and adolescents, from maternal deaths to educational losses and severe malnutrition.”


WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “the long-term impact of the COVID pandemic on the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents is becoming clear.” their chances of a healthy and productive life have plummeted“.

“As the world emerges from the pandemic, protecting and promoting the health of women, children and youth is essential to support and sustain the global recovery.”

UNICEF chief Katherine Russell said the pandemic has upped the stakes for all vulnerable communities and reversed hard-won progress for women, children and adolescents, “but we are not powerless to change that… By investing in resilient, inclusive primary health care systems. , launching routine immunization programs and strengthening the health workforce, we can make sure every woman and every child can get the help they need to survive and thrive.”

Students are participating in an accelerated learning program at the Kashojwa Learning Center, Uganda.

Rollback rights

“In front of face growing political protest against sexual and reproductive health and rights in many countries, women, children and adolescents today are left without many of the protections they had just a decade agoand many others still haven’t made the progress they need,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA.

The report provides a wealth of evidence that children and adolescents face vastly different chances of leading a healthy life simply depending on where they were born, their exposure to conflict, and the economic conditions of their families.

Statistics tell the story

  • A child born in a low-income country has average life expectancy at birth is about 63 years, compared with 80 years in high-income countries.. In 2020, five million children died under the age of five, mostly from preventable or treatable causes.
  • The majority of maternal, child and adolescent deaths and stillbirths are concentrated in just two regions: sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • More than 45 million children were severely malnourished in 2020, a life-threatening condition that makes them vulnerable to death, developmental delay and disease. Nearly three quarters of these children live in lower middle income countries.
  • Stunning 149 million children are stunted in 2020. Africa is the only region where the number of stunted children has increased from 54.4 million in 2000 to 61.4 million in 2020 over the past 20 years.
  • The six countries with the largest number of internally displaced persons – Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – are also among the top ten food insecure countries..
  • A woman in sub-Saharan Africa has about 130 times higher risk of death from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth than a woman in Europe or North America.
  • Millions of children and their families are suffering from poor physical and mental health as a result of recent humanitarian disasters in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Somalia, Ukraine and Yemen. In 2021, a record 89.3 million people worldwide were displaced from their homes due to war.violence, harassment and violation of human rights.

The report calls on the global community to reverse this harmful trajectory and protect the promise made to women, children and adolescents in the SDGs.

In particular, he encourages countries to continue to invest in health services, address all food security crises and challenges, and empower women and youth around the world.

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