Georgia is among world leaders pledging to end preventable child deaths
MEDEA 2012 conference in Batumi highlights Georgia-Israeli collaboration to reduce child mortality & morbidity
13 JUNE. 2012. TBILISI. A new major global campaign on child survival: Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed is being kicked off in Washington, D.C. on 14-15 June, during a Child Survival: A Call to Action meeting convened by the Governments of the Ethiopia, India and the United States of America, with 700 global leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society. The world’s governments are pledging their support for the global movement to end preventable child deaths and are committing to take action to accelerate progress on newborn, child and maternal survival.
Overall, substantial progress has been made towards reducing under-five mortality rates. Since 1990, annual maternal deaths have declined by almost one half and the deaths of young children have declined from 12 million to 7.6 million in 2010. Still, almost 21,000 children die every day around the world from preventable diseases, never reaching their fifth birthday. Many more millions of children suffer from illnesses caused by lack of clean water, poor nutrition, and inadequate health services and care.
Georgia is also joining the Child Survival pledge and is committing to accelerate its actions towards further reduction of child mortality. Tremendous progress has already been achieved in this regard. Since 1999, the mortality rate of children under the age of five has dropped by two-thirds - from 45 deaths per 1,000 live births to 16 in 2010. Infant mortality reduced during the same period from 42 to 14 deaths per 1,000 live births.
“The Government of Georgia has made enormous strides in reducing child mortality and this is commendable”, said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “But we can still further reduce child mortality and morbidity. The main causes are prematurity, asphyxia and infections/pneumo¬nia. These causes are closely related to the health of the mother during her pregnancy, the circumstances of her delivery and the first critical hours after birth. So, further reduction of neonatal mortality must become a top priority for the public health system in Georgia and UNICEF will continue to support the Government in these efforts”, added Monasch.
Georgia reaffirms its pledge towards reduction of child mortality at the international Conference MEDEA 2012, organized under the auspices of the First Lady of Georgia and the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, being held on 14-15 June in Batumi, the same time as a Child Survival: A Call to Action meeting in Washington. The conference gathers Government officials, Georgian medical and public health professionals who have been practicing in the United States, Europe, Israel, Turkey and other countries, representatives of various international organizations, non-governmental and private sector stakeholders, supporting health sector reform and programs in Georgia. The conference aims at engaging Georgian-origin health care professionals working abroad in strengthening the professional capacities of health providers, including those dealing with maternal and child health at all levels.
An example of this type of collaboration with the Georgian diaspora is the training of selected Georgian medical professionals at the Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, Israel. This is part of the new 15-year master plan developed by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, the Reproductive Health Council and UNICEF to strengthen the perinatal/neonatal health system in Georgia.