MDG4: Reduce child mortality
Reduce child mortality shall mean reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.
International efforts aim at reducing the under-five mortality rate to 12 cases per 1000 live births by 2015, while the rate was 35 cases per 1000 live births in 1990. Therefore, the Sultanate has made its efforts to achieve this goal by setting the policies and strategies in health sector.
Ministry of Health, in fact, has played a great role in children care. It provides health care in all stages of children growth: during pregnancy, during birth, and after birth. It also issues a comprehensive and standard manual for pregnancy care, which is considered the source for all doctors. The ministry, moreover, provides the basic equipment of CPR for new born children, as well as trains the doctors on basics of CPR, where Royal Hospital is the center of this training. In addition, it issues two main manuals of taking care of infants and new born children.
In primary health care, the ministry offers prenuptial examination, and continuous examination for pregnant of about 6 visits during pregnancy to ascertain if there is any health risk on the mother and her baby. The Expanded Immunization Program has been adopted as well, whereby proportion of 1 year-old children immunized against measles increased to 100% in 2013, compared to 98% in 1990. In 2002, the Ministry of Health adopted Integrated Management of Childhood Illness strategy initiative that recommends some important practices related to the positive effects on child health. Not to mention the ministry efforts in raising awareness of how to take care of the mother and the child since the early stages of pregnancy.
The challenge in achieving this goal lies in the society’s treatment and attitudes toward children. However, Ministry of Health deems it necessary, through its future vision, to expand its training programs in CPR for new born children, follow non-central policy in training: which means the distribution of training programs geographically so that it won’t be limited to one region, expand early-examination program for new born children, and introduce new vacancies that prevent children diseases. In fact, the Sultanate had achieved this goal in 2013. The proportion of mortality of under-five children has declined and exceeded expectation by 11.8% dead cases per 1000 live births. Infants’ mortality rate has declined as well; while it was 29% in 1990, it reached 9.8% in 2013.