Child Survival: Now on the Global Agenda


Today in the developing world over 11,000 children – especially those under the age of five – will die. These deaths are largely caused by preventable disease and neonatal conditions that can also be prevented. In all, that number totals 4.4 million children a year. That number, while explosively high, is significantly down 70 percent from 20 years ago. Now, the global health community is pushing to reduce child mortality to 2 million deaths per year by 2035. While it will not be easy, it is certainly achievable.

This week USAID, UNICEF, and the governments of India and Ethiopia convened the Child Survival Call to Action event held at Georgetown University. There we heard from key leaders in the area of child survival; those who are invested in dramatically reducing the child mortality rate in developing countries. Eighty percent of all child deaths occur in 28 countries. Of those deaths 40 percent are concentrated in five countries – India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, and Ethiopia. In order to reduce child mortality these countries in particular must work toward keeping more of its children alive.

Here are two commitments to child survival from the Ministers of Health for Ethiopia and India.

Now a new initiative has been launched to hold countries accountable to the pledges they make to reduce child mortality. You can read more at A Promise Renewed.

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