Giant mural on English hillside warns of preventable child deaths during pandemic


HEBDEN BRIDGE, England (NewsNation Now) — A giant mural of 6,000 children was painted on a hill in an English town in an effort to bring attention to preventable child deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

When viewed from the sky, the mural, called the “6000 Children,” forms a child’s face. It was unveiled in Hebden Bridge last week, honoring World Children’s Day.

Local artists Sand In Your Eye painted the mural across 36,000 feet of grass to warn of the up to 6,000 children at risk of dying daily from preventable causes associated with COVID-19, according to UNICEF.

(Photo provided by local artists Sand In Your Eye)

The UN agency, which provides humanitarian aid to children across the globe, said the pandemic is causing disruptions in medical supply chains and straining resources in countries with already weak health systems.

The estimated death toll is based on an analysis by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which was published in the Lancet Global Health journal in May.

“This art installation draws attention to the worst-case scenario for ‘generation COVID,'” said Rebecca Dallison, head of campaigns at UNICEF UK. “But this nightmare can be averted if urgent action is taken.”

The artists and advocates are calling on global leaders to include children in their pandemic recovery plans.

(Photo provided by local artists Sand In Your Eye)

“As parents ourselves of young children, we were distressed to hear that so many children could lose their lives from preventable causes in the U.K. and abroad,” said Jamie and Claire Wardley, the artists who helped create the mural. “Statistics like 6,000 children losing their lives are difficult to comprehend so we decided that we would paint them so people can see what that number really looks like.”

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