Adolescence An Age of Opportunity 2011
In the global effort to save children’s lives, we hear too little about adolescence. Given the magnitude of the threats to children under the age of five, it makes sense to focus investment there – and that attention has produced stunning success. In the last 20 years, the number of children under five dying every day from preventable causes has been cut by one third, from 34,000 in 1990 to around 22,000 in 2009.
Yet consider this: In Brazil, decreases in infant mortality between 1998 and 2008 added up to over 26,000 children’s lives saved – but in that same decade, 81,000 Brazilian adolescents, 15–19 years old, were murdered. Surely, we do not want to save children in their first decade of life only to lose them in the second.