Integrated Health Strategies Can Save Children’s Lives, says UNICEF Flagship, State of the World’s Children Report 2008
ULAANBAATAR, 22 JANUARY 2008 – Strategies that can help reduce the number of children who die before their fifth birthday were highlighted today, at the launch of UNICEF’s flagship report - The State of the World’s Children 2008: Child Survival – held at the Maternal and Child Care Research Center in Ulaanbaatar.
While recent data show a fall in the rate of under-five mortality, the State of the World’s Children Report 2008 goes beyond the numbers to suggest actions and initiatives that should lead to further progress.
The report’s analysis also reveals that far more needs to be done to increase access to treatments and means of prevention, so the devastating impact of pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, severe acute malnutrition and HIV can be better addressed.
The challenge is to ensure children have access to a continuum of health care, backed by strong national health systems. An effective continuum of care connects essential maternal, newborn and child health packages through pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal and newborn periods and into childhood and adolescence, with each stage building on the success of the previous stage.
In his speech, Deputy Premier Mr. M.Enkhbold noted that Mongolian Government is implementing National programme on strengthening child development and protection, which reflects implementation of policies and activities that provide a continuum of care for mothers, newborn and young children by delivering essential services at key points during their life cycle.
“An important action relevant to the situation in Mongolia is increasing share of primary health care to the level of importance it deserves” said Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, Representative, UNICEF Mongolia in his opening speech.
Disease-specific initiatives combined with investment in strong national health systems will contribute to a continuum of care for mothers, newborns and young children that extends from the household, to the local clinic, to the district hospital and communities. These communities generate necessary demand for quality health care and their engagement is vital if marginalized and remote populations are to be reached.
“Child survival is not only a human rights imperative, it is also a development imperative,” emphasizes the report. “Investing in the health of children and their mothers is a sound economic decision and one of the surest ways for a country to set its course towards a better future.”
Launch of The State of the World’s Children 2008 Report
The report is launched on Tuesday, 22 January at Maternal and Child Care Research Center in Ulaanbaatar.
Speakers included Deputy Premier Mr. M.Enkhbold, Minister for Health Ms. B.Batsereedene,