The state of many developing countries in Africa is no secret. Africa has been deadlocked in extreme poverty for an extended period of time. However, recent trends have shown that the poverty situation worldwide is slowly improving. Despite these various improvements, much more can be accomplished in the poverty-stricken continent of Africa. African children in particular are still mired in terrible situations, causing quite a predicament. While every life is worth saving in Africa, the lives of the children are crucial to the future of developing countries.
The issues have abundantly mounted to oppose healthy children in Africa. Lack of suitable food plays a major role. The world in general produces enough food to feed these children, yet they have no access to a consistent food supply. The key to eradicating the hunger crisis is providing an outlet for starving people in Africa and other poverty-stricken locations worldwide.
However, food is not the only major problem for African children. Other issues, such as slavery, armed forces participation, and the inability to prevent disease all stake a claim to the death toll of African children.
An estimated 200,000 children are sold into slavery yearly in Africa. This has become a major problem for developing countries–how can a country grow and learn if the children are routinely captured and used as slaves? Without any children learning and growing in a safe environment, the developing countries do not have much hope for a productive future, instead they are mired in the darkness that child slavery provides.
Not only is child slavery a major issue but children being forced to participate in the armed forces also causes another dilemma. An estimated 12,000 children are participating in the armed forces, further halting the advancement of African economies. The children are being trained and deployed in military situations instead of learning and cultivating the land, leaving fewer able bodies and even fewer educated people to grow and produce for their country.
Child participation in armed forces and slavery are major hindrances to furthering child development. However, the problem of disease also runs rampant among the children. Measles, malaria, and diarrhea are the three biggest killers of children, yet all three are preventable or treatable. Children lack access to proper treatments and vaccinations, resulting in deaths that could have been prevented. If these children could be immunized or properly treated, the number of deaths would exponentially drop.
The high mortality rate of children in Africa plays a significant role in the African poverty situation. The deaths related to child slavery, child participation in armed forces, and treatable diseases can be reversed. These problems can be solved; they require continued aid from outside help, but also a stand to fight for the lives of children. Without growing children, there is no growth for the future.
– Zachary Wright