Integrated health services for children show ‘remarkable’ results, Veneman tells World Health Assembly
By Chris Niles
© UNICEF video|
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman addressing the 58th World Health Assembly in Geneva.|
NEW YORK, 16 May 2005 – Child deaths in remote parts of West Africa have declined dramatically since UNICEF and its partners began an integrated health programme aimed at protecting children and their mothers.
The Accelerated Child Survival and Development (ACSD) programme began in 2002. UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman told the plenary session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva that the results have been remarkable.
“They have exceeded expectations and shown us just what can be achieved over a short period of time through sound science, using an integrated approach,” she said.
UNICEF estimates that child deaths have dropped by an average of 20 per cent across the 16 districts where the programme was fully implemented and by 10 per cent where it was partially applied.
Key components of the ACSD package include immunizing children and pregnant women, encouraging breastfeeding, supplying Oral Rehydration Salts for diarrhoea and providing bed nets to protect from malaria.
The programme has focused on hard-to-reach areas in countries such as Senegal, Mali, Ghana and Benin and has placed particular emphasis on follow-up to make sure that bed nets, once supplied, are being used.