Save the Children to launch new report
23 OCTOBER | GLOBAL
Save the Children’s new report Lives on the Line: An Agenda to End Preventable Child Deaths, sets out a definitive and comprehensive examination of what is needed to complete the job on MDG 4 - to cut child mortality by two thirds by 2015 - and move towards the wider goal of ending preventable deaths.¨
Pneumonia, diarrhoea, and malaria remain leading causes of child deaths globally, with around 6,000 children under five dying each day. In 2012, close to three million babies died during the first month of life, mostly from easily preventable causes and nutrition-related factors contribute to about 45% of deaths in children under five years of age.
Yet there is a positive trend, with the world currently reducing under-five mortality faster than at any other time during the past two decades-- a sign that ending preventable child deaths is within our grasp.
However, according to Save the Children’s new report, this historic opportunity is at risk if we do not tackle three challenges: the children left behind by progress in reducing mortality, the slow progress in reducing deaths during the newborn period, and the lack of progress in tackling child malnutrition.
The report includes new analysis addressing not only the speed of progress in reducing under-5 mortality in the 75 countries with the highest burden of maternal and child mortality, but also their performance on the equity and sustainability of this progress.
It concludes with recommendations of four steps governments, actively supported by other stakeholders and donors, should publicly take by the end of 2015 to end preventable child deaths and these are:
- Publish and implement comprehensive, costed national health plans in high-burden countries that respond to the key causes of child mortality and ensure quality essential health care for every child and mother.
- Launch a national campaign in every high-burden country to reduce stunting, make sure every child has access to a nutritious diet and that this is an aim of social and agricultural policies and programmes, and ensure access to safe water and sanitation.
- Publicly commit the levels of public spending required to guarantee equal access to essential health care for all children, no matter where they are born, linked to a transparent process whereby civil society can actively track budgets and spending.
- Commit to ending preventable child deaths and health care for all in the post-2015 agenda, as part of a single framework that includes a robust accountability framework