December 15, 2016
Great strides have been made in past decades in reducing by over half the number of childhood deaths, from 183 per 1000 in 1960 to 42.5 in 2016. Much of this progress was the result of immunizations against common childhood illnesses. Still, as of 2015, 5.9 million children under the age of 5 were dying of diseases preventible in modern societies. 1.35 million of these were the victims of congenital heart disease, a number that has steadily grown in poor and middle income countries. Children's Heartlink, a non-profit based in MInnesota, works in these societies to introduce modern surgery and techniques. This article by Senior Fellow Brian Atwood and Heartlink's Program Director, Bistra Zheleva, highlights a Children's Heartlink series called the "Invisible Child" and advocates for more attention to this curable childhood defect.