How to ‘Beat’ Child Mortality

The following blog first appeared on The Huffington Post.


Can the sound of a child’s heartbeat inspire the world to save children’s lives? Can it inspire you? Children’s heartbeats recorded in Malawi and Guatemala inspired the band OneRepublic to write a song with a beat like no other. If “Feel Again” grabs you enough to download it, you can help save children’s lives.


The song provides the soundtrack to Save the Children’s new Every Beat Matters campaign. The aim is to raise awareness about the millions of children around the world who die needlessly before their 5thbirthday, and what can be done to save them. The timing is right for this campaign launch, and not just because it’s Infant Mortality Awareness month. Yesterday, the United Nations released their latest child mortality estimates, which show — for the first time — that child deaths have fallen below 7 million per year. While this figure is still far too high, it reflects the tremendous progress the world has made in reducing preventable child deaths. We can and must now finish the job.


Not long ago twice as many children died every year. Since 1990, child deaths have declined by an impressive 40 percent. That’s thanks to high-impact solutions like vaccines, oral rehydration therapy to treat diarrhea and improved nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life. Increased contraceptive use has also played a big role in many countries, especially in Asia. By reducing unintended pregnancies and increasing the spacing between pregnancies, the risk of both maternal and child deaths have gone down.


But these solutions still aren’t reaching all the children and mothers who need them. Many children still don’t get vaccines or timely treatment of life-threatening illnesses such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. And many newborn babies, especially those in need, don’t get the skilled delivery and basic care at birth that could prevent 20-60 percent of deaths in the first month of life.


This is where you come in. By downloading a song that benefits our Every Beat Matters campaign, or writing to Congress, or sharing a video with friends to get them involved in the cause, expanding lifesaving care for children is just a few clicks away.