According to a statistic presented by the Bellagio Child Survival Study Group, child deaths could be cut by 63% worldwide if coverage rates of effective prevention and treatment interventions were to increase from current levels to 99%. Further, according to a report by the World Bank in 2013, nearly 80% of Africans, mostly those in the middle-income bracket and below, depend on public health facilities.
Due to these facilities facing chronic shortages of critical drugs, countless individuals die every year of easily curable diseases. Multiple factors result in the hindrance to medicines, but the major ones, according to the World Health Organization, are the lack of resources and the shortage of skilled personnel.
This problem is also prevalent in North, South and Central American nations: immunization rates are lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean, not reaching 60% even for the richest 20%. This shows how one of the most fundamental and basic rights guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – the right to good quality healthcare in Article 24 – to every child in the world is not being met.
Arguably, this is the most important right – after all, if a child is not even sufficiently healthy, how can they even receive their other rights – such as receiving a proper education, be given rest and play, and the ability to express their opinion – guaranteed by the UNCRC? Therefore, first and foremost, the right to a child’s food and drink, safety and shelter and healthcare must be prioritized by the states members of the Organization of American States (OAS) must be prioritized.
But how can this be achieved? According to a report by the World Bank in 2013, public health facilities facing chronic shortages of critical drugs, countless individuals die every year of easily curable diseases. Multiple factors result in the hindrance to medicines, but the major ones, according to the World Health Organization, are the lack of resources and the shortage of skilled personnel. That is why countries need to efficiently spend their GDP on focusing on ensuring their public healthcare hospitals and clinics have enough resources, nurses, doctors and the amount of medical materials wasted is being limited. They can do this by applying certified Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence devices.
These devices allow skilled doctors from around the world to provide treatments (thus solving the problem of not having enough skilled medical workers) and allow that the resources available are being used making the least amount of waste as possible. Countries should invest in these companies, but also make sure these companies are certified and authentic (many artificial intelligence and Internet of Things startups (i.e. new, small companies) that are still in development mode might try to convince their products work, but they actually are not safe or don’t function properly!).
Therefore, OAS states investing in better public healthcare services and helping children access these should be a mandatory goal and policy that State members must follow and be assisted in doing.
By: Shifa Hossain Sarker