With the 2015 target for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, governments, academics, NGOs and agencies alike joined together on June 14-15 to issue a rallying call to end preventable child deaths.
Spearheaded by the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States as well as UNICEF, participants at the ‘Child Survival’ Forum in Washington DC committed to:
1. Mobilise political leadership to end preventable child deaths;
2. Achieve consensus on a global roadmap highlighting innovative and proven strategies to accelerate reductions in child mortality;
3. Drive sustained collective action and mutual accountability.
Presenting the ‘Countdown to 2015 annual report’, which publishes health data for 75 countries that account for over 95 percent of the 7.6million annual child deaths, Malaria Consortium’s Africa Technical Director, Dr James Tibenderana, called on partners to ‘invest in saving women's and children's lives’ and to ‘give infinite value to every single life.’
Picking up on the sentiment embodied in the U.N. Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child movement to reduce maternal and child mortality, Dr Tibenderana pointed out that 53 of the countries featured in the Report still experience a human resource for health crisis.
Underlining the importance of the ‘Child Survival’ Forum in driving forward the political agenda in both donor countries and those suffering high rates of child mortality, Dr Tibenderana stated ‘health policies matter; they are pre-cursors to implementation.’
He finished, ‘finally – and most importantly – we need to refuse complacency. There has been progress. Yes. The 2012 Countdown findings are encouraging. But this progress is not enough. There are still millions of deaths that can and should be prevented. We know what to do. Increasingly, we know how to do it. We need to make noise for women and children – holding ourselves and our institutions and our countries accountable for progress – not just to 2015 but beyond.’
- After the initial month of life, most deaths in children under five years of age are caused by pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and HIV.
- Malaria Consortium conducts several programmes in the integrated community case management (ICCM) of pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria.
- According to the World Health Organisation, malaria kills approximately 655,000 people each year.