This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
There is some good news! Thirty years ago, 40,000 children worldwide were dying daily from preventable causes. Now, that number has been cut in half.
This did not happen by accident. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished when we put attention, time and a little money to a basic human problem.
In our foreign aid, the United States has led the world in providing access to basic inexpensive health care. Things like immunizations, oral rehydration therapy and antibiotics save millions of young lives every year. We are now at the point that public health experts are talking about ending all preventable child deaths.
Next month, the United States, India, Ethiopia and UNICEF are co-hosting a "call to action" on child survival. At this meeting, world leaders will create a roadmap to end preventable child deaths within a generation. Congress should align with this goal and preserve funding for global child health and other aid programs, which save lives with less than 1 percent of the federal budget.
Scott A. Leckman, M.D.
Salt Lake City