An international delegation recently concluded their meeting on infant and maternal health in Latin America. The conclusion – unequal access to health care is still the number one killer for mothers and their children.
While child mortality has more than halved in the region according to the World Bank, children from impoverished homes are five times more likely to die before they turn five years old. The majority of those deaths deemed preventable. Over the past 20 years significant improvements have been made on maternal health and mortality rates have dropped by 40 percent.
Despite the fact that 32 million Latin Americans continued to live on less than US$ 1.25 a day last year, the region managed to reduce the percentage of people living in extreme poverty from 12% (in 1990) to 6% (in 2010). Seventy-two million people escaped from poverty and 50 million joined the ranks of the middle class and with this improved maternal health and infant mortality rates.
Organizations like UNICEF and their “A Promise Renewed’ initiative is working on reducing children death rates worldwide.