Mortality in children under 5years is a sensitive index of the well being of a society.
In Thailand there is a National project to reduce mortality in under 5 year old.
In the 1950s and 60s the under 5 year old mortality was 160 per 1000 and this had been reduced to under 40 by 1990. Since then there has been a further 24% reduction
Clearly this is a top Government priority.
There has also been a marked reduction in inequality between the riches and the poorest in society.
A major improvement in household economic status is a major component. In Thailand a measure of poverty is the proportion of the population living on less than 1 US $ a day.
The practice of culling baby girls ( female feticide ) has to be abolished but exists even in civilised Eastern countries. Tolerance of religious and ethnic minorities is important.
A range of free health improvement schemes for the poor is also important, especially for the poor rural populations. This includes community hospitals and vaccination and anti polio programmes. Dedicated Medical teams have proved to be important.
It is also important to identify pockets of poverty and at risk groups.
Vapattanawong et al Lance2007, vol 369, 850-855
Bhutta Lancet 2007, vol 369, 804-806
- Martin Eastwood