The principal causes of ill-health and mortality among children in developing countries are outlined and the prospects for improvement through the provision of education, health services, adequate nutrition, clean drinking water, sanitation, and other basic, but vital needs.
Clean water and good sanitation are essential to prevent and reduce child mortality. Women who become pregnant at either extreme of childbearing age are at higher maternal and pediatric risks; the same goes for multiparous women and women with short birth intervals. Most deaths of children aged 1 to 4 are preventable by simple health intervention: The main causes are diarrheic and respiratory diseases, malnutrition, and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases.
Fair Future notes that children are certainly the most affected by the indirect impact of the pandemic than by the viral infection itself. Indeed, we have noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the health of children, but through the increase in poverty, the loss of education and the closure of schools -here in Indonesia the closure of schools since March 2020-, food insecurity, violence as well as increased pressure on health systems and reduced access to personal health care services.
From the start of the pandemic, we clearly saw that vaccination and nutrition programs were heavily impacted. At the same time, other basic non-medical services for children have also been affected: Access to education, protection against domestic violence, etc.
Health personnel is often relocated -when they have not stopped working because salaries are no longer paid- in order to meet the needs arising from the pandemic. In this type of humanitarian context, medical staff is already limited, so by diverting part of human resources to cover the response to COVID-19, the risk of not meeting basic needs in pediatric programs has increased.
What are the main recommendations made during this time of pandemic crisis to prevent the growth of infant morbidity and mortality?
Some very simple recommendations must be put in place, Fair Future is working in this direction!
First, it is necessary to maintain regular pediatric preventive and curative services. Some of the human, material, and strategic resources that usually exist for these prevention programs have been reduced and we will see the consequences in the near future. For example, we could soon see epidemic outbreaks because of children who have not been vaccinated against rubella or measles. By reducing or closing outpatient clinics, the number of diagnoses (eg diagnosis of malaria, severe dengue) has already increased in the regions where we work with Fair Future.
Children are not the face of covid-19 but will certainly not be spared
Second, we need to develop new approaches and implement the necessary practical tools on the ground. For example Nutrition programs, water supply, creation of community gardens, and development of local resources.
Finally, we must continue to defend the rights of children in this pandemic. They are not the ones who die from COVID-19 but will certainly be the ones who will be the most impacted.
Regardless of the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has and will have on children in the years to come, have there really been any positive externalities in the Foundation’s projects on the ground?
Community health care activities, which have become a key component in the fight against COVID-19, have reminded us of the effectiveness of this system and should continue to be strongly implemented and integrated into established outreach strategies. by Kawan Baik and Fair Future in more rural areas.
This extraordinary situation confirms that our medical but also logistical teams must be terribly flexible and innovative to provide logistical, social, medical or technical support that is adapted and as adequate as possible in the field.
What types of difficulties do we encounter in the field but also in hospitals in the outermost and rural regions linked to the health care provided to children?
Obviously, the lack of nutrition plays a terrible impact on the physical development of the child. As the parents no longer have any income, the condition of the children has greatly deteriorated, the food budget is being severely impacted.
Pregnant women whom we must also talk about being struck by the pandemic, the lack of medical care, healthy food, drinking water during the time of their pregnancy. We have also observed that a significant number of young pregnant women were proportionately more affected by COVID-19 than the others. Without classifying them for all that in the category of “vulnerable people”, their condition requires a healthy diet, care, good hygiene. Conditions that are not met far from it here, for example in eastern Indonesia.
We thank you all very much for your interest, benevolence, and always great support. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones!
Note: Your feedback is extremely important to us and our teams in the field. They give us the courage, the strength, the motivation to help even more! Please let us know your thoughts. thanks in advance
Our proximity to communities and families in distress implies a duty to raise awareness to improve their living conditions or their situation.
The Fair Future or Kawan Baik teams may witness violence, injustice, and deliberate acts and must testify.
Testimony is the act of becoming aware, in private or public, of what we see or have seen happening in front of us and by documenting these acts, we report.
At times, Fair Future may speak out publicly to highlight a crisis, expose abuses, challenge the diversion of assistance, or speak out against policies that restrict access to health care, medical care, education, food and all other forms of social care.
Supply and logistics
Fair Future already helps thousands of families every year but we are struggling!
However, one of our main problems is that we don’t have enough equipment and not enough medicine when we should always have enough material for the work to be done and for the patients to be treated.
In particular for the response to emergencies or in the event of natural disasters, when supplies must be needed within 24 hours.
But also for long-term programs, where a regular supply of equipment and drugs is essential. Fair Future and its teams cannot respond to and deal with all requests due to a lack of resources.
Minimization of risks for everyone
The actions carried out on the ground by the Fair Future and Kawan Baik teams are based solely on needs, regardless of political, economic or other interests.
On the ground but also everywhere else, our teams communicate and dialogue on a daily basis with communities, village authorities and regional governments, to facilitate access and supply to medical care, clean water, and food sufficient for the inhabitants of villages and rural communities.
Fair Future and Kawan Baik do everything possible to minimize the risks for our teams and the villagers to provide them with what they need.
The Fair Future teams
“You never know when it will happen, but it will happen again.”
When a health or social crisis affects one of the regions in which we are already, the Kawan Baik (good friends) of Fair Future who are present will mobilize to assist.
Fair Future, as it often does, can mobilize personnel from the region with whom we often work, including a group of over one hundred volunteers. Specialists can also be sent on-site from one of its logistics bases in Denpasar or Waingapu. Our teams include medical personnel, logisticians, water specialists, and project managers.
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