“Investing in the health of children and their mothers is a sound economic decision and one of the surest ways for a country to set its course towards a better future,” said Joy Phumaphi, vice president of Human Development at the World Bank. She is speaking after the release last week of UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2008 report.
With Child Survival as the theme for the report this year, UNICEF acknowledged the central role that front liners (such as the ICDS teachers HHI trains in India) play in saving lives of children. The report speaks to a variety of ways that child mortality can be reduced, stating that currently 26,000 children under age 5 day each day from preventable causes. The child mortality rates are most atrocious in Africa, as high as 1 in 6 children under 5 dying. I am beyond eager to see HHI get started in Africa! And, in India, Orissa is tied as the state with the highest child mortality rate – and we just began our work there last summer.
I believe that HHI is not “the solution”, but I do believe that we are a simple, cost effective and and critical part of a easily scalable larger solution. We have just finished our new and expanded curriculum and we are doing everything in our power to now spread the word and get our services out into the world. To this end, I will spend next week in DC meeting with a variety of international child health groups to find ways to take HHI to the children who need us most.