Be late for your Thanksgiving Day. Five thoughtful reasons to still be thankful.
Fewer Kids Are DyingWhat’s happening: Mortality rates for young children are at a record low.
The stats: The number of children younger than 5 who died worldwide in 2006 fell to 9.7 million, the first time that figure dropped below 10 million since such records have been kept. And the good news isn’t confined to one continent. Latin America is on track to reach the Millennium Development Goal of reducing its 1990 child mortality rate by two thirds by 2015; so far, its under-5 mortality rate has already plummeted by half, from 55 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 27 in 2006. In China during the same period, child deaths dropped from 45 per 1,000 births to just 24, while India registered a 34 percent drop. Even parts of sub-Saharan Africa improved, with child mortality decreasing more than 20 percent from 2000 to 2004 in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
The reasons why: Simple solutions. More kids are getting vaccinated—measles deaths having fallen 60 percent globally since 1999. More kids are avoiding malaria by sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets. Higher rates of breast-feeding and vitamin A supplements to strengthen immune systems are also keeping children alive. Safer water, better nutrition, more cash for public health, and more community health workers are also getting kids past their fifth birthdays. None of these solutions is particularly new or high-tech—just proof that implementing healthcare basics can save millions of lives. [More of a short, uplifting report]
What the hey - you're still eating the turkey and those weird broccoli/cheese/? casseroles and putting cranberries on your toast.
You can jolly well muster up a little leftover gratitude.
[via The Plank]
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