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Five alive

Shireen Vakil Miller, Save the Children

Shireen Vakil Miller, head of advocacy for Save the Children, India, based in Delhi

What's the problem?
This year, nearly nine million children will die before they reach their fifth birthday - and more than 20 per cent of them are in India. Economically, the country is booming, but the benefits of its recent 9 per cent growth in gross domestic product are not reaching the poor, and children are suffering.

How does it affect you?

It is a tragedy that a child dies every three seconds. But even more shocking is the way so many children are dying from preventable illnesses. Here in India, the key killers are antenatal and post-natal complications, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Deaths such as these are a thing of the past in industrialised countries, and dramatic improvements are happening in India's neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh.

What are you doing about it?

On 5 October, Save the Children will launch its biggest-ever campaign, to save millions of children's lives across the globe. Our aim is to see Millennium Development Goal Four - a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality - achieved by 2015.

How can we get involved?

To find out more about what you can do to help support Save the Children's Every One campaign please visit:

This article first appeared in the 05 October 2009 issue of the New Statesman, The tories/the people