World Unites to Accelerate Progress in Ending Preventable Child Deaths
Washington, D.C/Jakarta – Today over 80 governments, including Indonesia, and a multitude of partners from the private sector, civil society, and faith-based organizations gather at the Child Survival Call to Action – a high-level forum convened by the governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States, in collaboration with UNICEF, to launch a sustained, global effort to save children’s lives.
Over the past 40 years, new vaccines, improved health care practices, investments in education, and the dedication of governments, civil society and other partners have contributed to reducing the number of child deaths by more than 50 per cent.
Still, millions of children – most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia – die every year from largely preventable causes before reaching their fifth birthdays. In 2010, this translated to 57 children dying for every 1,000 live births – in Indonesia, that under-5 mortality rate was 35.
In Indonesia, estimates indicate that 150,000 children die in Indonesia every year before they reach their fifth birthday, and nearly 10,000 women lose their lives annually to problems in pregnancy and childbirth.
The Call to Action challenges the world to reduce child mortality to 20 or fewer child deaths per 1,000 live births in every country by 2035. Reaching this historic target will save an additional 45 million children’s lives globally by 2035, bringing the world closer to the ultimate goal of ending preventable child deaths.
Modelling shows that this goal can be reached by greater effort across five key areas:
At the Call to Action, governments and partners are being asked to pledge their support for A Promise Renewed , a commitment to work together on sharpening national plans for child survival, monitoring results, and focusing greater attention on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
“We have the tools, the treatments, and the technology to save millions of lives every year, and there is no excuse not to use them,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “To renew our promise to the world’s children, we have to focus on the leading causes of child mortality like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, scaling up coverage of high-impact, low-cost treatments, sparking greater innovation, and spurring greater political will to reach the hardest to reach children. The grand goal of preventing child deaths must be our common cause.”
Here in Indonesia, says UNICEF, more focus must be placed on system-wide approaches that address all components – human resources, health and nutrition education, access to care, quality of services, regulation and standardisation of services, governance and adequate levels and targeting of financing. These efforts, along with health insurance and other social protection mechanisms, will build a more responsive and equitable public health system.
“Investing in a more equitable health sector, and strengthening the safety nets for the most vulnerable, will deliver long-term benefits to Indonesia,” says Dr Robin Nandy, head of child survival and development programmes for UNICEF Indonesia. “Healthier mothers deliver healthier children. Healthier children stay in school, have fewer but healthier children themselves in later life, and are more productive members of society. Together, this provides a solid foundation for eliminating poverty, reducing social exclusion and sustaining economic growth and stability.”
The two days of events will be Livestreamed at: http://www.apromiserenewed.org
Twitter hashtag: #Promise4Children
B-roll and events of the day will be recorded, packaged, and delivered on: http://weshare.unicef.org/pickup?key=S788e1517-36e8-4ed9-8a56-01a92fc5fa3d
Updates and photos will be posted on the Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/unicefindonesia
For further information, please contact:
Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Indonesia, Tel. + 62 (0)812 123 7252 firstname.lastname@example.org Nuraini Razak, Tel. +62 (0)811 920 1654 email@example.com