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Arch Dis Child 90:974-978 doi:10.1136/adc.2005.074468
  • Global child health

Child survival: district hospitals and paediatricians

  1. M English
  1. Honorary Consultant, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr M English
    Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme, PO Box 43640, 00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya; Menglishwtnairobi.mimcom.net
  • Accepted 8 April 2005

Abstract

In a previous article in this series, Zulfiquar Bhutta outlined many of the key sociopolitical issues, both national and international, that currently affect the delivery of health care to children in developing countries.1 The clear summary of our situation is that we are failing to provide even basic health care (both preventive and curative) that could reduce child mortality globally by more than half.2 Paediatricians, who have perhaps in the past felt they were at the forefront of articulating and promoting a global health agenda, should be challenged by these conclusions. The successful ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child3 that unequivocally target health was not a finishing line, a goal achieved, but rather a foundation for action. Therefore while researchers might have felt some satisfaction at successes in defining optimum treatment approaches, the pathways to delivering services were, and remain, far from clear. Progress is further complicated by the diverse conditions and obstacles that may be encountered worldwide.

Footnotes

  • * As a result of an effective national immunisation programme, measles is not currently a major cause of infant or child mortality in Kenya.

  • Funding: Mike English is supported by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship (#050563) for work in Kenya

  • Competing interests: none declared

  • All views expressed are personal and do not reflect any official viewpoint of the Kenya Medical Research Institute or The Wellcome Trust (UK)