Welsh Lib Dems call for action against child health inequality in Wales

27 Feb 2024
Child poverty

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to tackle child health inequality in Wales.

According to Public Health Wales, the child mortality rate in Wales is 70% higher for children in the most deprived groups than the least deprived.

Children in these groups are also 76% more likely to be obese, and by age 11 children in poverty are four times as likely to develop mental health issues.

The Welsh Lib Dems are now calling on the Welsh Government to commit to the creation of specific health inequality targets for their Child Poverty Strategy.

Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“In 2024, no child in Wales should have to suffer from the devastating effects of poverty.

Child poverty can have a significant impact on health inequalities and poorer health outcomes, including higher infant mortality rates, and physical and mental health problems.

I am pleased that the Welsh Government’s Child Poverty strategy has recognised this link. However I, alongside several organisations such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, remain disappointed that calls for clear targets and robust monitoring to track the strategy’s progress has seemingly been ignored.

At times it feels as though the Welsh Labour Government’s approach to tackling this crisis, whilst well-intended, lacks ambition.

An ambition to set targets, to focus on prioritise and to take action.

Without the establishment of a robust monitoring framework, we risk allowing our most vulnerable to slip through the cracks.

We must strive to do better, for the sake of our children and our future.”