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Child health 

Child health
Child health

Cynthia Boschi-Pinto

, Nigel Rollins

, Bernadette Daelmans

, Rajiv Bahl

, Jose Martines

, and Elizabeth Mason

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date: 16 May 2022

This chapter focuses on the health status of children, particularly those less than 5 years of age. The global mortality burden among this group remains unacceptably high and progress in reducing it is not equally distributed across countries and regions. Most children suffer and die from a small number of conditions—the main causes of morbidity are highly correlated with the major causes of death. Likewise, nutritional status, child growth, and development are intertwined. Strikingly, even in the poorest settings, a significant proportion of these outcomes could be prevented with a few interventions that are well known, feasible, deliverable without complex technology, and affordable. Strengthening the health system and integrating interventions into packages of care that can be delivered during pregnancy, childbirth, the neonatal period, and childhood at all levels—from home to hospital—will be key to increasing the coverage of health interventions and further reducing child mortality.

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