Rho IDP site, Northeastern Congo
Without adequate care, a child’s earliest years can be the most deadly in many low-resource countries.

The health risks for children are more severe the younger the child: as a global average, 85 per cent of childhood deaths occur in children less than five years old, but 47 per cent of those deaths are in the newborn period – the first 28 days of life.

Children under 15 years of age make up more than 60 per cent of patients in our projects, and many arrive in a critical condition or in the late stages of an illness. They are sick because they have not been adequately protected from disease or received appropriate treatment when they needed it. There are still many gaps in appropriate drugs, tools, protocols and staff for treating these young patients.

These are all factors why children under five in low- and middle-income countries continue to lose their lives to infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria, and why newborns are failing to survive their first few days. This is also why older children face poor health long-term, if not death, due to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and epilepsy.

Quick facts about child health

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MSF Paediatric Days

paediatrics.msf.org

Paediatric Days is an event for paediatric field staff, policy makers and academics to exchange ideas, align efforts, inspire and share frontline research to advance urgent paediatric issues of direct concern for the humanitarian field. Paediatric Days focuses on paediatrics because in humanitarian settings, children are the most vulnerable group, with the highest risk of disease and mortality. Visit the Paediatric Days website to learn more.

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MSF Field Research

We produce important research based on our field experience. So far, we have published articles in over 100 peer-reviewed journals. These articles have often changed clinical practice and have been used for humanitarian advocacy. All of these articles can be found on our dedicated Field Research website.

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