Child Mortality in Ghana

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It is inevitable that many developing countries look to progress economically, socially, and politically. In the case of Ghana, issues of development range from poverty to primary education, also from internal and external resources to basic healthcare. Africa, among the many developing continents full of Third World countries, has been invariably problematic in terms of economic growth and development. The need to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) is critical to the people of Africa. Reducing poverty and hunger, promoting primary education, reducing child mortality, etc., altogether will make a significant difference for Ghana and many other barely-thriving African countries.

Chiefly, the British colonial impact left great, indelible marks in the country of Ghana. This is reflective in the struggle for development and decolonization in the past centuries. However, when evaluating the country data profile today, we can see that Ghana is slowly making progress. For instance, as population rate stays about the same, life expectancy goes up slightly, while child mortality rate decreases in the past couple of years (World Bank, Ghana Data Profile). Merely, Ghana is moving towards the right direction.
With attention to one of the eight MDG’s, we can further examine the success and failures of development in Ghana. By focusing on the reduction of child mortality goal, we can also touch on some aspects of the other seven goals such as combating diseases, improvement of maternal health, and environmental sustainability.

As guest speaker Arthur Reingold pointed out, child mortality rate in developing countries are fairly high due to infectious diseases. In the 1850s, the 100-200 deaths out of 1,000 births of children were due to infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles, and scarlet fever. Today, according to the Demographic and Health Surveys, child mortality is decreasing in Ghana. Currently, 50 children per 1,000 live births die



Cited: • World Bank. “Ghana Data Profile.” The World Bank Group, 2010. • U.S Department of State. “Background Notes on Ghana” Washington D.C: 2010. • Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Ghana Health Service (GHS), and ICF Macro. 2009. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2008: Key Findings. Calverton, Maryland, USA: GSS, GHS, and ICF Macro.

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