I was watching the BBC and was startled to realize how strikingly different ‘the surviving and thriving' of children be in various parts of the world. For instance, the differences in countries like Sierra Leone and Sweden, which are considered the most insecure and the safest place for the children respectively, could be remarkably vast.
The documentary revealed some staggering facts. The pre and the post natal care in Sweden is not only top class but also can be exemplary for other developed countries like UK and US. If we look closely, the socio-economic structure of Sweden is more balanced and poised as compared to other countries. There is little disparity between the rich and the poor classes . The rich and the not-so-rich people are happy with their social stability. They are aware, conscious and know what matters to them. Which is why, their professional lives are more stable, with unbelievable perks and benefits. Sweden has definitive leave structures. The offices have a well-defined leave structure, devoted to the well-being of the expectant mother and the would-be father alike. I learned that they get a parental leave going up to 16 months and the parents can split it between themselves with adjustable shifts. Moreover, the parents get various other benefits, till the child reaches eight years, which are beyond considerations in many parts of the world.
Sweden also has top class healthcare resources and medical expertise with the caregivers in their academic and practical best. Even the most general hospitals are equipped with nonpareil infrastructures and offer unbelievable healthcare resources to the patients and their families. That justifies, as to why many couples, from developed countries, cherish the idea of giving birth here. Sweden is, unquestionably, the safest place for children on earth.
On the contrary, we get a very grim picture, an appalling reality in Sierra Leone. There is a kind of acrid odor in the air. The availability of medical help is another problem. Both the expectancy and the mortality rates are whopping. People are ignorant, and hardly know about pre and post natal care, and how it could affect the life of the expectant baby and the conceived mother. To top this, there are cases of child marriages and other social taboos. That is another subject that the country is fighting since forever. Most striking, however, is the fact that the children have to fight even the common diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea and common flu and cold. The UNICEF has taken up the cudgels, but a lot has to be done still before Sierra Leone could even share the same platform with other parts of Africa, let alone the world. Sadly, Sierra Leone is the most unhealthy and insecure place for the children in the world.
Update On Sep 07, 2010: Here are some staggering figures, source UNICEF:
1) Child mortality ..................1 in 270 (UK)............ .....1 in 375 (Sweden) .... ............... 1 in 4 (Sierra Leone)
2) Mother mortality ...............1 in 8000 (UK) ...............1 in 18000 (Sweden).................1 in 8 (Sierra Leone)
3) No of doctors per 100, 000.........230 (UK)....... .......380 (Sweden).............................2 (Sierra Leone)