Reduce child mortality

Where we are?

 reducing_child_morality Reducing child morality (Poster by: Maram Taibah)

Over the past two decades, health services in the Kingdom made remarkable progress, particularly in the field of primary health care which spread in all population centers and witnessed significant improvement in terms of efficiency and level of integration. These services are provided through several programs including: family-health registers, maternal and child care, integrated child healthcare, control of communicable diseases, basic environmental health, etc. The integrated child healthcare program is the most related program with Goal4 and provides continuous follow-up of the growth of children until the age of 5, through the "health record system" which covers registration of all health visits and follow up steps during the natal and post-natal stage.

The program involves activities that include control of diarrhoea and malnutrition, and a comprehensive program of vaccination against communicable diseases. The latter program has achieved remarkable success, with the proportion of babies vaccinated against measles, rubella and mumps during their first year of life increasing to 98.2% in 2010. Likewise, the proportion of children vaccinated against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, polio, and hepatitis B amounted to 98%, as well as 97.7% for tuberculosis.

These positive developments have led to the decline of the under-five mortality rate to 19.5 deaths per thousand live births in 2010, which amounts to an improvement of 55.7% over its 1990 level. Similarly, infant mortality rate declined to 16.9 deaths per 63 thousand live births in 2010; an improvement of 50.3% over the 1990 level. These rates indicate that the Kingdom is proceeding confidently towards achieving the MDG4 by 2015.

Regarding the future directions in the field of improving the efficiency of health services and realizing full coverage, the administrative and organizational structures will be developed. The local institutions will enjoy more powers to perform their tasks more efficiently. Moreover the government health facilities will be financially independent and subject to review and accountability according to appropriate performance measures. 

Coincidence between the MDG4 and the Ninth Plan objectives of the health sector, represented in providing comprehensive, integrated, high-quality health care services distributed evenly in all regions of the Kingdom to cover all members of the society, increases the chance of achieving this goal. This plan has adopted a number of targets of relevance with MDG4

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