Feb 22 2013
Britain suffers worst child mortality rate in Europe
The deterioration comes as more than a quarter or 26 percent of children’s deaths showed “identifiable failure in the child’s direct care”, according to the figures.
Now, the government is to announce a national new vow to lower child deaths as part of its response to the Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum, which was set up in January 2012.
The forum introduces new measures including increasing data so the National Health Service (NHS) and local authorities can obtain better information to improve the health of young people; piloting a survey to generate details of local health problems such as drug and alcohol use; and launching colour coded health maps to highlight trends for conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
“For too long, Britain’s childhood mortality rates have been amongst the worst in Europe when compared to similar countries”, said the health minister, Dan Poulter.
“In particular, there is unacceptable variation across the country in the quality of care for children – for example in the treatment of long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes”, the health minister noted.
“I am determined that children and young people should be put at the heart of the new health and social care system. Too often in the past, children’s health has been an afterthought.
“The pledge that we are making demonstrates how all parts of the system will play their part and work together to improve children’s health. There is already a lot of good work going on but we want the NHS to do even more to improve care for children and young people and reduce the mortality rate”, he added.
The pledge commits signatories to put children, young people and families at the heart of decision-making.
UK: Bahrain our ally; despite crackdown
British Foreign Minister for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Alistair Burt reiterated Britain’s support for the Bahraini regime and its “reforms” during a phone conversation with Bahrain Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa on Wednesday.
Burt later said on his Twitter account that he “spoke to Bahraini FM @khalidalkhalifa earlier to affirm UK support for National Consensus Dialogue in #Bahrain”.
To Burt’s post, Shaikh Khalid replied: “Thanks for your continued support .. The UK is a true and solid friend”.
The Bahraini regime, backed by Saudi Arabian forces and western governments, has killed scores of people and injure many more since the beginning of the Bahraini revolution in February 2011 against Al-Khalifa.
Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry did confirm in its report in November 2011 that the regime had used excessive force against peaceful protests and blasted Manama for torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.
This comes as Physicians for Human Rights has also slammed the Bahraini regime saying doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they had “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-government protests.
The Al-Khalifa regime began the new round of the so-called reform talks, dubbed the National Consensus Dialogue, with the participation of representatives of protesters on Sunday but there is next to no hope of results as protesters want an elected government rather than the hereditary rule of the current dictators.
The last round of talks in 2011 collapsed almost immediately after their launch with one of the main opposition groups, Al Wefaq, saying the government was not willing to discuss political reform.