Tag Archives: Child survival

Day 2 Social Media Highlights from India’s Child Survival Summit #C2AIndia

If you missed our piece about Day 1 of India’s Child Survival Summit on the Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists, you can read it at The Most Important Conversation This Week: India on the Survival of its Children.

You might recall our coverage of the Child Survival Summit that was held in Washington, DC last year. Convened by the Ministries of Health of Ethiopia and India along with UNICEF and USAID decreasing the child mortality rate became front and center on the global agenda in 2012. This year the conversation continues with summits in both Ethiopia (that took place last month) and in India that is happening this week.

A few key facts:

  • India accounts for the largest number of under five deaths (Source)
  • India decreased its child mortality rate by 45% since 1990 (Source)

Announced today: India created a new management tool to improve accountability: scorecards.

[youtube http://youtu.be/O1z3TtyxDGA]

Dr. Abnay Bang talks about home-based newborn care practices in India

Mrs Anuradha Gupta from the Indian Ministry of Health discusses key takeaways from day 1.

Dr. Vinod Paul also discusses home-based newborn care practices

Follow the summit through Saturday at the #C2AIndia hashtag.

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Under Five Child Survival Under Microscope at Summit

This week child survival is under critical review in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the African Leadership for Child Survival – A Promise Renewed summit. This meeting, held at the African Union headquarters and convened by the Ethiopian government along with UNICEF and USAID brought together African Ministers of Health to enter into discussions about markedly improving child survival rates. The summit ends Friday.

Between 1990-2011 child mortality has decreased 39% in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNICEF, 1 in 8 children in sub-Saharan Africa die before their fifth birthday from five leading causes: pneumonia, pre-term birth complications, diarrhea, intrapartum-related complications, newborn infection, and malaria.

Key tweets and infographics are emerging from the summit at the #promise4children hashtag.

USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah addressed the summit via video:

Child Survival Summit

Child Survival Summit

Child Survival Summit

Some of the topics in discussion are community-based newborn care, reducing stunting to increase child survival and increasing skilled birth attendants to decrease newborn and child mortality.

For more information on child survival and child mortality rates visit www.apromiserenewed.org.

Photo: Jennifer James

A Woman’s Right to Basic Family Planning and Why It is Important

There is a worldwide problem facing women: the lack of access to and education about family planning. What makes this issue so compelling and absolutely important to me as a mother is  access to contraceptives in developing countries will save the lives of mothers and babies. Period. I cannot imagine not being able to choose when I want to have a baby when I am the one who has to deliver her. Family planning is every woman’s right.

Family planning can save the lives of over 100,000 women each year who would be able to space their pregnancies in healthier intervals. Additionally, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) analysis found that if all birth-to-pregnancy intervals were increased to 3 years, 1.6 million under-5 deaths could be prevented annually (1). And according to UNFPA, 222 million women in the developing world want to avoid/ plan pregnancies (2). Even more importantly, according to Save the Children family planning can drastically save the lives of teenage girls between the ages of 15 – 19. Pregnancy is the number one killer of teenage girls in the world who live in developing countries according to Save the Children’s new report (3).


On July 11, 2012 the world will take note of the pivotal issue of family planning on World Population Day alongside the London Family Planning Summit hosted by the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The summit will call for greater country commitments to family planning as well as resources to provide family planning access to 120 million women worldwide.

1. Healthy Timing and Spacing in Pregnancies: A Family Planning Investment Strategy for Accelerating the Pace of Improvements in Child Survival

2. UNFPA – World Population Day 2012

3. Every Woman’s Right: How Family Planning Saves Children’s Lives

Photo: United Nations

Why Reaching the Age of Five in Developing Countries is Critical to Survival

Every year over seven million children in developing countries die before the critical age of five. Research shows that once children reach the age of five they have an increased chance of surviving through adulthood, but there are several challenges they must overcome first.

This April, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with key partners including ONE, launched Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday, a global effort to raise awareness about the prevention methods and tools that can save the lives of millions of children every year. Most of the seven million child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia where diseases like malaria, pneumonia, and other communicable diseases, diarrhea, pre-term birth complications, hunger and malnutrition as well as other causes take the lives of over 20,000 children a day. In fact, one in eight children die in sub-Saharan Africa before the age of five.

There is hope and progress has been made. Child mortality rates have been reduced by 70% over the last 50 years according to USAID, but progress cannot slow.

Millions of children’s lives can be saved through preventative measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets, low-cost vaccines, improved access to clean water and sanitation, medications for expecting mothers that prevent transmission of HIV to their babies, and access to proper nutrition and adequate food.

On June 14 – 15 USAID along with India’s and Ethiopia’s governments will convene the Child Survival Call to Action event at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. During the two-day event high-level talks with stakeholders, partners, members of civil society and the faith community will take place around the issue of ending the millions of preventable child deaths.

The Child Survival Call to Action event will be streamed online on June 14 and a robust conversation will take place via social media under the #5thBDay hashtag.

You can learn more about Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday at 5thbday.usaid.gov.

Photo: UN Photo/Stuart Price