UNICEF commends Kyrgyzstan’s Commitment to Accelerate Efforts on Saving Children’s Lives
On 14 June 2012 in Washington, the Government of Kyrgyzstan, united with representatives of 80 countries to sign a commitment to significantly reduce child mortality by 2035, reducing the indicator to 20 deaths per 1000 live births.
Achieving these historical goals will save the lives of another 45 million children globally, thereby bringing the world closer to its main goal: ending preventable deaths among children and giving all children the right to celebrate their fifth birthdays. For Kyrgyzstan, this duty requires the concerted efforts of all organisations and structures concerned, and that child health issues be included among the priorities of states.
Mr. Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Representative, praised this important step by the Government of Kyrgyzstan and said “Evaluations have shown that the Kyrgyz Republic has been making good progress in recent years towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals on the reduction of child mortality by 2015. Kyrgyzstan has managed to reduce child mortality from 72 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 38 in 2010, thanks to using globally proven actions, such as increasing the effectiveness of treatment and preventing pneumonia and diarrhoea; improving neonatal services; reducing microelement deficiencies; and improving access among the most vulnerable groups to medical services. This gives us confidence that the country has great potential to take on and fulfill additional obligations to improve child survival.”
At present, Kyrgyzstan loses about 5,000 children under five every year. About half of them die in the first week of their lives. There are also children who die because their mothers simply cannot reach healthcare facilities in time from their remote districts. There are children who have been weakened by anaemia and shortages of other minerals and vitamins. Kyrgyzstan has given itself the task of reducing the figures by a third by 2015, and almost in half by 2035, which would mean saving the lives of more than 2000 children a year. This is achievable. The National Healthcare Reform Programme and the Den Sooluk strategy are based on proven and cost-effective activities in the field of child survival. This means that effective actions are well known, and that all the necessary instruments and technology are in place. What is left to do is to introduce them and then expand the scope of their application.