About 5.3 million children under the age of five died last year, mostly from preventable diseases. I believe more should be done to reduce this number. If I were a doctor, I would orient my actions toward this goal, and the three most important steps would be raising the awareness about breastfeeding, volunteering as a postnatal specialist, and educating new parents on danger signs.
Firstly, a lot of people are unaware of the importance of breastfeeding even though it is the basis for a healthy life and development. Apart from the emotional and nutritive value that it has, a mother’s milk also contains antibodies that protect the baby from illnesses (“Importance of Breastfeeding”). I would organize lectures on this topic as a doctor; important information and possible issues that new mothers may come across during the first months of breastfeeding should be addressed.
Next, it is important to have skilled attendants after the birth. I would specialize in postnatal care, providing the necessary support essential for the newborn’s health. Furthermore, access to skilled doctors is extremely low in underdeveloped countries, and volunteering in one of those countries would mean increasing even by a small percent the opportunity for newborns to have the proper postnatal care.
Finally, danger signs which can be crucial for the life of a newborn are often overseen by the new parents. It is important to have the parents informed and trained so they are able to prevent a possible fatal outcome (Ekwochi et al. 4). To that cause, I would organize campaigns and training for the future parents.
To summarize, reducing mortality in young children is an issue we should tackle more seriously. If I became a doctor, I would do my best to take the three steps I outlined, which are crucial for achieving this goal.
“Children: Reducing Mortality.” World Health Organization, 19 Sep. 2019, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/children-reducing-mortality. Accessed 26 November 2019.
Ekwochi, Uchenna, et al. (2015). Knowledge of Danger Signs in Newborns and Health Seeking Practices of Mothers and Care Givers in Enugu Etate, South-East Nigeria. Italian Journal of Pediatrics. 41. 10.1186/s13052-015-0127-5.
Huber, Chris. “Child Mortality: Top Causes, Best Solutions.” World Vision, 13 Jan. 2016, https://www.worldvision.org/health-news-stories/child-mortality-causes-solutions. Accessed 26 November 2019.
“Importance of Breastfeeding.” La Leche League International, https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/benefits/. Accessed 26 November 2019.
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